Monday, April 19, 2010

The Cosmic Joke

I posted last month that I was having a really tough time with Second Sock Syndrome.  I had three beautiful socks done, and no interest in casting on any of their mates.  One weekend I decided to give myself a break and knit a Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap.  That way, I'd get my sock yarn fix but make something that didn't come in a pair.  Shortly after that, I found out I was pregnant with twins.  I am not kidding.

So, ironically, I ended up making a pair of hats too.  And all the baby knitting I was planning, I'm making two of everything now.  Here's my baby knitting checklist:

2 Norwegian Sweet Baby Caps - done
2 Pepitas  - may machine-knit most of these
2 Das Monster pants - can't decide whether to use sock yarn or heavier for older babies
2 baby blankies - one half-done

Deadline is the end of September, though with my last pregnancy I had such bad carpal tunnel syndrome in the third trimester that I couldn't crochet at all, so the sooner I get these done the better!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Sock Lab Experiments, Round 1 is complete

Finally finished the second Rainbow Sock this week:

Knitting the first sock went fine.  For the second sock, I decided to do toe-up just to keep things interesting... but since I had waited so long between socks #1 and #2, I forgot an important part of the pattern and inadvertently skipped two rows for every pattern repeat, or, by the time I'd gotten to the heel, sixteen rows.  Fail.  Frogged it and took my sweet time starting it over.  When I did, I got to the heel and stalled again.  This weekend I finally busted it out and finished sock #2.  The second sock is slightly shorter in the foot because my toe when I do a toe-up sock is fewer rows than when I do decreases top-down.  I haven't done the math yet to figure out why this is so, but it sure looked like the toe on the second sock is about 1/2" shorter.

I enjoyed this pattern for the first sock, especially because the yarn I dyed for the pattern looked exactly the way I wanted.   But doing two and a half socks with this pattern got to be a drag.  Glad I finished them, love how they look and fit, don't need to do them again.

Also I realized that I really should learn to do short rows in a way that is a little neater, especially when I am working in striped yarn.  If you look close-up, you can see that the ends of my short rows are marked with little prickles.  This is because instead of wrapping a stitch before I turn, I k2tog over the gap when I come back, and then do a lifted increase.  This lifted increase pulls the color from the row below into the current row, making the little spikey shapes.  I usually slip the first stitch of a short row after I turn, but I stopped doing that to see if it was contributing to the prickliness.  I need to do it better when I start my Lizard Ridge Afghan.

Next on deck in the sock laboratory, the famous Skew.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monster Socks

After hoarding sock yarn scraps for months and months, I finally made my first pair of scrappy monster socks.  My husband claimed all the black/black stripes yarn in the scraps box, and away I went.  I wanted to use striped yarn for the heel, but I wanted a bullseye effect so I tried an afterthought heel for the first time.  I made up a sort of whirlpool heel that I'm not happy with - J showed me that the socks keep slipping over his heel, and one heel has one row too many in the center and has a funny little flap at the bottom.  After they come out of the wash I planned to take the heels apart and redo.

But after a few wearings, my husband told me the heel stretched out fine and the little flap of extra rows at the very base of the heel had resolved.  Apparently he loves wearing his odd socks with suits and deliberately showing them off during the work day!