Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baby Frogs (Tadpoles)

I was struggling to find a sock pattern for the September socks. I did not start until after Sept. 15. I have been trying to make a dent in the shawl and just lost my goal of a pair of socks a month. Thankfully, a nice person make that decision for me. A woman knit the Tadpole socks and posted them for her Sept socks and I knew right then I had to knit these socks. They looked pretty easy so why not!

Finding yarn to do socks in is a challenge. Most of my sock stash came a wee bit before my obsession for knitting socks was in full bloom. So I bought willy nilly. I have lots of variegated socks but not all patterns look good with different colors going everywhere. Tadpoles are great for variegated and solids both; even socks that are known for pooling (tadpoles-pooling? lol!).

This is a side view of the first sock that is nearly finished. You can see the pooling that will be on the back of the sock. It's very evident. The pooling on the front of the sock isn't so obvious with the textured pattern. I thought this yarn was best to do the Tadpoles in because they have a nice mixture of blue and green. The blue represents the water the babies are growing up in. The green represents the land they will be heading for. Okay, so I had the yarn and just got lucky with the colors...lame but it works!
This is another side view. This is the heel and gusset. When the sock is finished I will put it on my usual leg and take another picture. I am almost done with them but not enough to show a finished sock. I just started the foot on one and the other sock still needs to have to toe decreases done and I will have a whole pair of socks.

I have been trying to do four projects at the same time so blogging as been very little. I promise I will try to do better.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Simple Yet Not Quick
I have had a hard time sitting down and blogging lately as seen by such a gap of a month not too long ago. I am not one to have too many projects going at once. I have a phobia of becoming a knitter with tons of UFOs. I don't want to be a "false starter" knitter. I am not a method knitter by a project knitter. I pick out a project and pour all my TV watching time into that project. I have two projects on Ravelry that are hibernating currently, a Nemo hat that needs fins, and this project in progress.

As you can see from this photo, the computer is on my left and the TV is in front. When this picture was taken, it was late last night and I was ready to pack it in and go to bed.

My most current project is the Simple Yet Effective shawl. Don't let the name deceive you. I have had to use two life-lines on this shawl. It might only be knits and purls but one can get a bit lax and then miss the increases. To make this shawl large enough to fit anyone I purchased three skeins of Berroco Sox Metallic. I have already done one skein and am now 1/3 of the way into the second skein. Since it's yarn that is used a lot for socks and the needle size is a size 5, this project is going to take a while. I guess this will be one of those projects that I will have to do while working on other projects. Three skeins of sock yarn is going to take a while.

This is a shot of the shawl with just one skein done. It looks small to me but when you do this
to it, it does look longer. That gives me hope that I am not spinning my wheels. So this project will be back after it's washed and blocked to show how far three skeins of yarn can go. Like I said, it's going to take a while!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Party Pooper

I truly had intended to have posted when I finished the Jaywalker socks. Things did not go as planned but that was totally my fault. I got a little too big for my britches. I looked at the directions and wanted to shift the stitches and when I did that, it created a big problem. I tried and tried to fix it by subtracting stitches and it flat did not work. So I decided instead of driving myself and my knitting friends more nuts than I already had, I would do two simple adjustments. I usually knit the gusset stitches down to 6 to fit my foot. I went down to 4 in hopes to tighten up the foot of the sock. Shifting the pattern on the foot caused me to have 42 stitches instead of a nice snug 36. I decided I would just do the foot in stockinette and let it go. So if the sock looks different than what you thought it should, it is. I know when I am licked and it was totally my fault.

The lesson I learned was that a designer puts things where they look best; for the most part. In this case that was true. I was messing around with a perfectly good pattern. I should have knit one pair and then made adjustments on a second pair so that I would know what I was about to deal with. I thought I was more experienced than what I was. It certainly put a new light on things for me. I need to keep trying new socks and mistakes are steps toward knowledge on how to make a sock of most any kind fit my foot perfectly. I do love making socks and think that I am getting better but I still have a long way to go.

I did confirm some things I know about my own foot. The heel was too tall and had too many stitches across (42). 36 stitches seem to work best for the width across the heel for me and about 36 rows total for the height. I know that the gusset stitches in most of the socks I have done so far need to be whittled down to six. I know that I pretty much need someplace between 60-65 rows from the gusset to the toe decrease. I have a short foot.

As you can see from these two photos, the sock pools around the top of the heels (which means there are too many stitches for me).

Even though the sock pools around the ankle and the heel is just too large for me, I like the socks. They turned out well considering I tried to wreck and perfectly good pattern! lol! I will wear the socks this winter to see how they wear since they seem a wee bit larger than what I think they should be. It was a good lesson that confirmed the fact that I know my own foot and that I am beginning to look at a pattern differently than I did 5/6 years ago. No pattern is engraved in stone.