Sunday, October 28, 2007

More on Socks & Sweaters

Hmm, these socks are going to be a bit more challenging than I thought.

I knit up a gauge swatch with this Regia stretch using size 0 needles and got about 10 stitches in an inches. I got ready to toss it into the wash to be abused in a hot cycle with some towels and see how much it shrinks and decided to take another look at the pattern... gauge for fingering weight yarn is 7-8 stitches per inch. Okay... but that doesn't help me, I have a good swatch with the smoothness and lack of holes you'd expect from a good sock at my 10spi gauge. I'm not going to jump up to a holey swatch using #2's or #3's just to follow the published pattern.

...also, the patterns themselves are kind of ugly, if you know what I mean... not laid out very well, bad punctuation and grammar in the "intro / info" section, they make the graphic designer in me cringe, and the knitter in me huff at the inefficiency of it all.

So I'm sort of reinventing the wheel here by taking all the best things out of the pattern, from the "tips and tricks" section, and from my own gauge and measurements, and creating a fresh sock pattern, cuff down on DPN's. It's a bit frustrating.

On to more exciting news, I've started Riley's pullover! A random striped little girlish (but not sickeningly girlie) creation. I loved the colors when they were on the ball, became a bit leary of it when I first started, but now that I'm about 60-65% through the back I'm really liking the play of the colors. I need to take some pictures of it and update my Ravelry page.

I guess I should do the same to Cici's sweater--all the ends are woven in, now just have to wash and block it, and sew in the "made with love" tag. ;)

I also think I need to decrease my stitch count to match a smaller size. I was talking with Tina and Andrea this evening (Riley's and Cici's moms) and Tina mentioned that even though Riley is 22 months she's still wearing the 18 month sizes. I think I cast on this sweater in the 3-4 year size, I'll decrease down to the 1-2 year size, which is the next step down, and just have a bit more of the side in the seam for the back section. No biggie.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Stretchy Sock Yarn [ribbit]

I've discovered that stretchy sock yarn and me don't get along very well. Several weeks--okay, I'll be honest, it's been months--several months ago I ordered some really good sock yarn from a not-for-profit group I'm a member of, Socks For Soldiers, look it up on Yahoo Groups. Regia stretch, 10 balls, potentially enough to make two pair of size 12.5 work socks for my buddy Mike over in the big sand box. I decided that I was going to use the toe-up pattern instead of cuff down because I like it better but... This stretchy yarn is throwing me off.

I made the cast on at the toe very tight because it looked like it was too holey to be the toe of a sock when I did it looser. I did that cast on three times before I was happy with it. Keep in mind doing two socks at once that is actually six cast ons. Now, 2+ inches into it, I look at them, look at the cast on, look at the increases, and think, yuck! They're ugly, too tight compared to the stockinette of the rest of the toe. That can't be comfortable in a pair of boots.

Last night I ripped them out, frogged the whole thing. I'm calling the already used yarn a loss and am reknitting it into a gauge swatch on a smaller size needle, I'm dropping from size 1 to size 0 (American sizing, I forget the mm's). So far my swatch is looking good. Once I use up the little bit that is left from one of the frogged toes I'll bind off, measure a few times to be sure I've got it right, and then toss it in the wash with the towels to be abused by a hot agitated wash cycle and hot dry, then I'll remeasure. I am determined that these socks will be great so the second pair, and all subsequent pair that I make for other soldiers, will be perfect.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Argh. That is my word for the evening.

I'm in physical therapy to fix my knee problem. I have IT Band Syndrome, go look it up. Part of the PT is deep tissue massage of the IT band to help make the fiber of the tendon more pliable. You know what that means? Pain. Because there are nerves all over me, and deep tissue massage HURTS. This has the added benefit of making me want to get better that much faster.

Try to stay flexible people, it will make your life so much easier when you get older...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

My String Is Laughing At Me

My string is laughing at me. Yes, the pullover for Cici is still in progress, still a UFO, and still laughing at me. In fact, all of those ends that I must weave in from the striping is more like peanut gallery guffawing. It's even pointing at me while it laughs!

I mean seriously, count with me here... I have dark purple (1), lavender (2), baby blue (3), mint (4), lemon (5), apricot (6), and back down through lemon, mint, baby blue, lavender, and dark purple (7, 8, 9, 10, & 11). 11 stripes. Now multiply that by 2 to account for each end of the yarn, and then by 4 to account for the four sections of sweater on which I have to weave in the ends, and that gives me 88 ends to weave into their respective colors.

You see? They're laughing at me. And pointing.

In other news, I found out that the Tae Bo class that totally kicked my rear end was not only not a beginner course, it wasn't even an intermediate course, it was the ADVANCED Tae Bo class. It was not labeled as such on the class schedule. At this point in my exercising career, I do not feel one ounce of badness from not being able to kick it with that class level.

I'm hitting the beginner step class again tomorrow. Now there's a class I can stick around in.

Back to my string, I've got the front and back shoulder seams sewn up and the collar knitted up, one sleeve seam sewn and I plan to finish the second tonight. All I have left (all, All she says! The string is still laughing...) to do is that second sleeve, sew on the sleeves and up the sides and weave in those 88 ends. Fun fun, I'll finish it this weekend hopefully. Perhaps over some wine...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Not for Beginners...

MAN! I am going to be one sore chica tomorrow.

My boyfriend and I are determined to get in shape again, and to that end we joined our local group of gyms. One of the benefits, besides the closest gym to the house being a 24/7 facility (woohoo!), are the group classes that are available at no extra charge. I tried getting into "Zumba" tonight but was too late (latin dancy aerobic like classs), it was full by the time I got there. So I stuck around for the Tae Bo class.

O. M. G.

I am SO out of shape, I didn't even last a whole 15 minutes of the hour long class. By minute 13 I was shaky, light headed, and done. I was so done. I felt bad for leaving early, but then again, I was just a dead weight hanging out in the back. Fortunately I was wrong, I thought I was attending the "beginner" class, but that was the regular class. Beginners are Saturdays at noon. I'll have to check that out instead. I am now determined to work my way up to the regular class.