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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Solar what?


I couldn't believe it. On Mon 16Mar09 when I went to watch Ashes2Ashes and GrahamNorton (which had been recorded earlier from BBCA onto my DVR) and found nothing but a black screen with a bouncing dishcompanylogo screensaver. Aaaaaaacccckkkk!!!! Then DH mentioned that he got an email from the dishcompany about solar flares possibly affecting reception. What?! I hope this isn't gonna be a common occurance...

Losing GNS wasn't too bad, they seem to show a lot of reruns. A2A, on the other hand, was something I had just picked up at the right time where I actually got to watch episode 1 when it started!!! How cool is that? I usually catch onto something much later and then have to wait to see a tv series' pilot. So the GNS ep I lost was #2. I was bummed. But perked up when I found another ep #2 coming down the pike so I got my DVR set to record it for me. Yay!

--- -- .- ... / ... - .-. .. -.-. -.- --. . .... . .. -- -. .. ... ... .

I have to thank Benne and Bets for helping me sort out the chart symbol translations for that German knitting book I recently got. Love love love this book! I don't think I mentioned before that it is a hard cover book. Very nice. I love flipping through this book, though I haven't tried anything from it yet.

On the knitting front...

Pattern: Blueberry Tea Mitts (Ravelry link)
Yarn: Elann Baby Cashmere
Needles: 3.0 mm

Related post:
29Jan2009 post (2 photos - modifications to resize mitt)

I managed to weave in ends on this Blueberry Tea Mitt (RavPattLink) and take photos. You already saw the 1st mitt here. There is actually a booboo in the 2nd mitt (shown above). I didn't notice it until after I cast off & weaved in ends. And I wasn't about to frog 80% of the mitt just to fix the problem. You see, I have an inability to read directions. It said to repeat the pattern twice before starting the thumb gusset. I left out the repeat part and only worked 8 rounds of the pattern instead of 16, before beginning the thumb gusset. So when you compare the photo above with the photo of the 1st mitt here, you will see that the 1st mitt has more wrist coverage. The one above is on the shorter side. Here's a side-by-side:

I used the 5" Lantern Moon DPNs from Michele to work the thumb section of this 2nd mitt. The pointy sticks are nicely weighted and have good "grip" on the yarn. I never felt at risk of losing stitches. And the shorter 5" length was very nice! It is amazing what a difference one inch makes. You can see the pointy sticks in the sock photos below.

.--. .- .. .-. / ...-- / ... --- -.-. -.- / .----

Practice Pair of Socks #3

Related posts: 04Apr2009 post (13 photos), 28Mar2009 post (8 photos).

I've also started on socks. Practice Pair #3, this time starting at the cuff and doing plain ribbing down the leg. Easy peasy. I needed a change so I used variegated yarn instead of solid; it's Red Heart's Heart & Sole (Ravelry link). It's neat to see how the colors change, keeps the knitting interesting. I just want to keep knitting to see what comes next.

56 sts, 2.50 mm

I was thinking about how to make striping on its mate match the 1st sock. You'd have to pull out the yarn on ball #2 and start at the same striping sequence as the 1st sock. That sounds easy enough. But how much yarn would you potentially have to pull out before casting on that 2nd sock?

In the photo above, the purple arrow marks where the striping sequence begins again. The distance from cast-on edge to that purple arrow is about 3 inches. So this means potentially pulling out yarn that is up to 3 inches worth of ribbing. That seems like quite a bit of yarn! Now I have to wonder... if I end up pulling close to 3 inches of ribbing's worth of yarn before I can cast on sock #2, couldn't this mean a risk of running short of yarn near the toe end of the sock?

Anyhow, I knit this portion of leg for over 3 inches and decided to put it on circular needles so I could try it on. (I learned in earlier socks that it is better to use the circs because picking up stitches from waste yarn is much harder) It was snug around the lower part of my leg and was definitely too tight a bit higher up my leg.

I decided to frog it and start over from the toe end. I didn't like how pointy my first attempt at toe-ups (the pink Practice Pair #2) came out and I think part of it has to do with how many stitches I started out with. That one had 10 sts across, or 20 sts total. When I re-CO for this Practice Pair #3, I made it 12 sts across, or 24 sts total. And this time I am aiming for a total of 60 sts (instead of 56 sts from before frogging).

Pair 3 Sock 1 - take 2

I am finding it ambiguous to say "sock" and "socks". It could mean "one sock" or "a pair of socks". And when referring to one sock, are we talking about the "1st sock of a pair" or the "2nd sock of a pair"?

60 sts, 2.75 mm

Here we have CO attempt #2, starting at the toe using 12 sts (24 sts total). I think this already looks less "pointy" than the 10 sts (20 sts total) CO. I did the toe increases and then started K2P2 ribbing on the front side of the sock.

Note: You'll find K2P2 ribbing in Barbara Walker Treasury 1 pg39 and many other stitch dictionaries. It is a 2-row pattern. The beauty of working K2P2 ribbing in the round is that it gets reduced to a 1-row pattern. :-)

Here is the back side of the foot section. I kept this side in stockinette stitch.

Note: You'll find Stockinette Stitch in Barbara Walker Treasury 1 pg10 and many other stitch dictionaries. Like K2P2 ribbing, it is also a 2-row pattern that is reduced to 1-row when worked in the round. (And if you're wondering why I'm stating this, it is because somebody may eventually ask me about it).

I knit the foot section for just about 6" then did the same thing I did with the pink sock to get a feel for how long my heel flap will end up. I took a sampling of 30 rounds from the foot section. It turned out to be just a hair over 2.5". I decided to work 28 rounds of heel flap before doing that "heel magic" (viz. turning). That is still a magical experience for me. I wonder how many pairs I'll have to knit before that feeling wears off.

There was a minor hiccup while working the gusset. See that strand of blue yarn running across the inside of the sock? I somehow knit the stitches on that needle and brought the yarn back and re-knit those same stitches! I can't complain if this is the only problem in the gusset section. It was easy enough to correct.

So after having knit 2 pairs (or 4 socks) and trying different increases/decreases, I find that I prefer doing my increases/decreases 1 stitch from the end of the needle (rather than right at the end of the needle). For example, I prefer doing "... K2Tog, K1" and "K1, SSK ..." instead of doing "... K2Tog" and "SSK ...". Can't really say why, but I do.

60 sts, 2.75 mm

I placed the sts onto circs to try it on. It's on the loose side. Perhaps this would have been better with 56 sts instead of 60 sts (using 2.75 mm). I like the variegated yarn and am starting to wonder whether I should not have picked up all those solids; you saw 14 hanks here, 3 socks worth over here, and there are just a "few" more balls cough26socksworthcough I haven't shown you yet. Yep, I think that pretty much sums up my sock stash. But sock yarn doesn't count, right?

Here's a view of the top and bottom. I've started working the ribbing on the leg section.

I keep hearing about Judy's Magic Cast On, I need to try that soon.

Tracy asked about the heel flap on the toe up pink sock, and Claudia asked about a toe up pattern. In the toe up sock, I am working the heel flap exactly the same as if I were going to work it for a cuff down sock. I haven't done anything special to make this work. It comes out exactly the same as a cuff down, except that it is oriented backwards or upside-down. Hmm... that's not a very clear way of stating it, huh? lol. If you look at the whole heel flap/gusset section, it is pretty much rotated 180º in one direction and then 90º in another.

As for a pattern, Claudia, I would suggest trying the sock class that is linked in my sidebar under the Knitting Resources section. I haven't tried it myself but I did look it over and it seems pretty good. I didn't actually follow a specific pattern for either cuff-down (blue pair) or toe-up (pink pair). What I did was read up on the theory of sock construction from several sources and then gave it a whirl, trying different things here and there. I bet that's why my socks aren't coming out perfectly.

Sometime after I finished my cuff-down (blue pair), I got my hands on Getting Started Knitting Socks by Ann Budd from the library and found it to be a good absolute beginner sock book, covering the basics of cuff down socks. However if you have already knit even one sock, then you may not find this book very helpful as you will have already understood the basic sock concepts. The book only talks about cuff down socks and does not cover toe up. It does have some basic sock pattern/formula for various gauges which I think many people would find a useful resource.

I am still reading the Historian and it is keeping my interest. Yay. I'm at the part where he is in Istanbul and his daughter is on a train to France. I'm hoping to get my hands on Twilight soon because everyone talks about it and I want to be able to say I've read it too. I have to finish the Historian first. I'm pretty good at reading one book at a time. Not so good with one knitting project at a time though...


Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.


14 stitch(es):

Claudia said...

Thank you so much for all the information! That Ann Budd book is actually the one I used to make my practice sock and I love it. I will make a lot more from that book, but as you've also found, knitting toe up at least gives us the information we need to make sure our socks really fit! So I want to make my next socks toe up...I think!

*hugs* and thanks again

Jean said...

It really is satisfying watching the self striping yarn as it progresses. I've read a few other blogs that have maintained the love for this process. Opal vs Regia... there are so many sources for this type of yarn. I'm sure your mitts will come in handy, if you are petite like me tops can be way too long, so a short mitt isn't a big issue.

junior_goddess said...

No one is looking at your mitts in motion, Marie. You only notice if you are holding still.

Georgi said...

I read like I knit, way too many books at a time lololol.

Teenuh said...

I freaking LOVE self striping yarns. They amuse me so. Especially if you get into the fair isle type yarns, then not only do you get the stripes you also get patterns. Oooh. lol

Bummer about the solar flare thing. I've had DirecTV now for like 6 or 7 years and we never had that issue, though it could just be that I've never tried recording something while there are solar flares? Who knows!

Cindy G said...

The mitts are so pretty!

I'm the same way about striping yarns and just wanting to keep going to see what comes next.

pdxknitterati said...

Looks like you're definitely figuring out what works for you with socks! I like the new toe-up you're doing. May have to give toe-up another try. And I'm glad you like the LM short pointy sticks!

Anita O said...

I'm loving the striping on that sock. And the mitts are pretty awesome too. great work as usual!

pdxknitterati said...

PS: I also like my decreases one stitch away from the end of the needle! And turning the heel is still magic for me, too.

Amybel said...

I haven't done a sock, one or a pair, yet but I love how you are detailing your experience. And the sock looks so cute on that you might have comvinced me to try some soon!

cici said...

What an awesome blog,, You are so thorough and informative! I like looking at your project on the right. Beautiful work♥

Aunt Kathy said...

You are really rockin' on those socks. I am so jealous

Cat said...

Now I know what has been going on with my satellite service. I love the socks are working on and the mitts are wonderful.


TracyKM said...

I love Judy's cast on too. It's great for when you've started out on a 4 hour trip and forgot the crochet hook and waste yarn!
So, um, for the upside down heel flap... you're measuring from the back of the heel upwards as if it were going to be on your heel, but doing it so it's on the bottom of your foot? So the turning bit ends up being on the back of the heel instead of underneath? I normally do a slip st. heel flap, but the wedge part is underneath and not slipped stitch; I wonder if it could be when it's done your way? Would it blend into what becomes the back of the heel? Would it all matter? LOL. I'm just about to start the heels on a new pair of toe-up so I'm debating which way to go this time.