Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Where to start

Sorry for the protracted absence! I always like to give a complete and accurate update of all the knitting progress I've made, and that makes posting definitely not a five-minute task. Then, of course, as time goes on and I make more knitting progress, posting about it becomes even more of a daunting task, and...well. You get an 18-day blog post lapse, like, well, now.

So the good news is, here's a new blog post (thank you, lunch break). The bad news photos.

There's been lots going on. Firstly, you may have noticed that I have added little pictures in the sidebar for all of my designs. I figured it would probably make them more interesting for people if they could actually see what they looked like, eh? Just click on the pattern names to be taken to more information. (The pictures are hosted by Flickr, so if you click on the actual photos, you will only get taken to the Flickr pages for those photos, and not the pattern information.)

One thing I'm extremely excited about is that an essay I wrote for the Cast On podcast seems to have been accepted! Squee! It will probably be a while yet before you hear it, though, because it doesn't really fit in very well with the theme of the current series. Also, I have to condense it (because I am a wordy, blathering fool who resists you couldn't tell that from reading this blog) and record it. So stay tuned. Maybe next season.

In other news, I've designed a sock pattern! I'm still working on the write-up of the pattern for publication, but the design has basically been all worked out. I like it very, very much and in fact have used it for a number of new sock projects (and am even considering ripping out some of my current sock projects and starting over again with my new pattern). But I can't tell you anything more than that because I am hoping to get it published. Things are tentatively looking good with that, which is awesome, but it's still up in the air so I'm not going to talk about it or show pictures or anything. Again, stay tuned, and hopefully I'll have good news soon.

Thanks for the comments about last month's stash acquisition! The J, I will definitely swatch (and wash the swatch) with the Angora Extra first just to be safe.

Father's Day socks for DH
Speaking of the recent stash acquisition, I have started to use it. I gave DH the opportunity to pick which of the two balls of sock yarn he would like to have for his own knitting use. He misunderstood and picked out the ball that he would most like to have as socks for him, made by me. When I told him that I was actually offering him stash enhancement for his very own, he turned down the offer. (Seriously. Can someone even call themselves a knitter after doing that?) He said he didn't want to make me part with any of my yarn; I said I was happy to do it; he said no, that was okay...I just couldn't get him to take the stuff.

So I took the ball that he said he liked more and am using my new sock pattern to turn it into socks. One sock is already complete, and I'm on the leg (the last part) of the second one. I shouldn't have any problems finishing it in time for Sunday.

Eleanor of Toledo stockings
Lynette stopped by to say hi and ask for advice on the Eleanor of Toledo stockings. Unfortunately, I haven't finished them. I've started them at least two or three times (and frogged back), but finishing? Nuh-uh. There were a few reasons for all the frogging. I had originally bought red fingering weight cotton for this project instead of silk because the cotton was actually vaguely affordable. I got fairly far along in the first sock with the cotton, but lost interest after a while, I think. I was very new to the DPN thing, too, and probably found that rather frustrating.

Then I discovered a batch of recycled red silk yarn on eBay, realised I could at last make the stockings in silk like they were intended to be, and snapped it up. The cotton stocking was abandoned pretty quickly after that. However, the DPN thing was still very awkward for me and the needles were extremely thin and pointy. I also became frustrated with how the knitting started out very loosely right after the cast-on, but then tightened up after I got further along. I frogged everything I'd done and stuffed it away.

Now, however, I am extremely used to DPNs, am a much faster knitter, and have scads more experience with socks, so I think I should probably take the project out again and have another go, I'd probably enjoy it immensely.

Sorry I don't have much more help for you, Lynette! I do want to pop by the board again soon and see your garb - I just haven't visited in such a long while because I simply don't have the time these days. (Fortunately, some of the folks there read this blog, as you can tell from the comments. :) Please say hi to everyone for me.

Fistula armband for bro
After reading the story of my brother's renal health, Emma asked after his transplant status. To be honest, I'm not actually sure whether he's on the transplant list right now. Some years ago, it was determined that my father was an organ match for him (which is an AMAZING thing, since my brother is adopted), and my father gave him one of his kidneys. Unfortunately, about two and a half years later, my brother went into rejection and by the time he got himself into a hospital to see what was going on, it was too late and the kidney was kaput. He's been on dialysis (again) ever since. But he didn't like what the anti-rejection drugs did to him, such as deterioration of bone density (there was a period where he had to walk around with a cane). So I'm not sure exactly what he wants right now, transplant-wise, or whether he's even on the list.

But back to the subject of the armband to cover the fistula...I finally ripped back the first attempt and cast on again with 30 fewer stitches. It seemed ridiculously small to me, girth-wise, but I knit it up anyway and brought it over.

This week he called me with the verdict. He still loves it, but IT'S STILL TOO BIG. Can you believe it?!? So he's going to safety pin it even more tightly and get it back to me so I can see how much smaller to make it. What a pisser, eh? I would certainly agree with Carrie K that the armband thing is neat...except that I CAN'T SEEM TO FINISH IT!!! I feel like freakin' Al Pacino...just when I think I'm out, it pulls me back in...

Comfy Angel's nest
One absolutely lovely thing that's happened since my last blog entry is that my boss's wife had their second baby, and it's a girl! Hooray! So I was able to give them the girly tank top that I designed, leaving this sleepsack project for my cousin's forthcoming grandchild.

And it's coming along very nicely. In fact, it's all finished...except it has no buttons. This is because I have depleted my button stash to the point where I just don't have anything that will work with this garment. So I'm going to see if I can mooch some buttons off my mom. :)

Lliclla for MIL
Thanks so much, LLB, for the compliment! (And congratulations again, BTW. Will you be knitting a veil? :) I am absolutely thrilled with how well it's come out. Yep, the knitting and the making up is completely done and I love it. However, I still have to block it, and I've been procrastinating pretty fiercely on that because I'm still trying to figure out where the heck I can block it so that DD2 won't be able to get at it. This may be an impossible task. I might have to block it at my parents' home instead. It's definitely a project that needs blocking, so I'm not calling it 'finished' yet.

Lace and cables baby blanket
This project is sort of new, and sort of old. It's my own design, and I've made it before. But now I'm trying to finalize the pattern for publication, so I'm swatching. The tricky bit is that I want to try making it with reversible cables this time, which calls for a fair number of changes to the chart. I'm still figuring things out.

Christmas socks for Dad
These are done! And they're the first fully completed pair of socks done up in my new sock pattern (the original prototype for the pattern was just a single sock). I had my mom try them out because she has got to have the most sensitive feet in the world; so if the socks feel good on her feet, they'll feel good on anybody's feet. Since she's already worn them a bit around her home, I'm not sure they'll be going to my dad after all...but we'll see. There's plenty of time before Christmas. Although maybe I'll just give them to him for Father's Day...after a wash, of course!

Like, totally top
I have been putting off this project for so long it's not funny. But finally on the weekend I bit the bullet and started swatching with the Mystik DK yarn. So far it's looking rather nice...but I still have to finish the swatch.

Cotton wool socks for Mom
As you may recall, I needed to acquire an entire new, full ball of Sockotta yarn in colour #5618 in order to have the teensy bit I needed to complete my daughter's Girlfriend Shrug. This of course left me with almost an entire ball unused, so I decided to make socks for my mom out of it...which was actually the original plan for the first ball of the stuff. Once again, I'm using my new sock pattern for it, and it's coming along rather well - I'm on the leg of the first sock.

Phew. You see what I mean about the update being a daunting task? I think I've covered everything. And if I haven't, well, I'll just have to mention it all next time...which will hopefully be much sooner from now than the last time.

Take care!


Keja said...

I finished the E of T. stockings last year finally. I believe, the pattern printed originally in the T.I. has at least one error in it, which may botch people up - and I needed to redraft her chart so I understood it in my head (although it really seems straightforward, for some reason my brain didn't want to see it that way). They are made of Regia silk/wool blend which I chose because they were to be worn (although the recipient is still too afraid to wear them and get them messy - go figure) and silk does not have a memory when knitted. At least I don't find it does. If you stretch it, it's worse than cotton and doesn't come back.

In any case, the type of yarn shouldn't matter when making these, it'll just change the finished size if you don't change the # of stitches. These were the first pair of socks/stockings I'd ever knit.

Carrie K said...

Great idea, putting a picture to your designs.

Congrats on the Cast On podcast essay! You'll let us know when it finally does air, right?

And of course he didn't want that for his stash. One must buy one's own stash. Swaps don't count. :)