Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The socks ate me

Carrie K pointed out (not directly, of course, but I know what she meant ;) that there aren't a whole lot of photos being splashed around here these days. It's quite true, and I'm very sorry about that, especially since there absolutely zero photos in today's post to make it up to you with. But I've been doing a lot of designing (or finalizing designs) lately, and it's all stuff that I want to be published commercially, so I have to maintain a hush-hush factor. It's pretty exciting for me whenever I have patterns I hope to share with a wider audience, but yeah, it makes for more boring visuals for you guys. I hope you'll bear with me anyway.

Mind you, I suppose that if you're still reading this blog after all my long stretches of absence, you're probably going to bear with me even without pictures. Thank you for continuing to 'tune in'. I keep telling myself that I must get better at blogging frequently, but I also want to be so thorough when I describe what I'm doing with my projects (both for my own recordkeeping and any edification that readers may get out of such details...oh, and plus, I don't know when to shut up). With everything else I have to do in my life, the non-essentials often fall by the wayside and the result is that you get weeks without a peep from me.

(I am hanging my head right now.)

I will just have to try to be more brief, that's all. Maybe not be completely detailed most of the time, and every now and then do a really big post that contains all the gories? I dunno. But I shall try.

At any rate, as you would expect with an over-three-week span of bloglessness, there's been a LOT going on with me, knitting-wise.

Firstly, if you're on Ravelry, you'll probably have heard of "Ravelympics 2008". This was kind of like the winter Olympics thing that the Yarn Harlot did, but it was Ravelry-based, and there were teams and events and other different stuff. Aaaand...someone pledged to do my Around the Block pattern as their Ravelympics project! This of course was very exciting for me (although the blanket is so huge that I did question her sanity just a little bit). But even more exciting is what she wrote on Ravelry in the comments section of my pattern:

"This is a great pattern. The charts are comprehensive and detailed, the instructions are straighforward and the photographs describing the grafting are very easy to follow and a massive help.
The blanket itself it lovely and is so much more interesting to construct that a straightforward back-and-forth square.
Completely recommend this.

Isn't that fantastic? I got all giggly and squee-y when I read that, I don't mind admitting. Hands may even have been clapped girlishly. She didn't actually finish it in time, but is still working on the project and is still keen about it. Of course, what I'm really terrified of is that my yarn usage is way more efficient than other people's, and therefore she'll run out of yarn before she finishes the blanket and will curse me into oblivion and I will feel like scum. But I guess we'll fall off that bridge when we come to it.

She's "Lolli" on Ravelry, where she's posted pictures of the blanket in progress. You can also check out her blog.

And speaking of people doing my patterns, according to Ravelry, another poor sap intrepid soul has started my Reversible Celtic Patterns Blanket pattern. She is the third person to do so (not including me). However, I should point out that the other two people ended up not merely frogging their projects, but actually deleting them COMPLETELY off of Ravelry (as opposed to merely marking them "frogged"). I must assume they did this in an attempt to wipe out all evidence that they'd ever even heard of the pattern and thus block the pain and suffering from their memory. :) I do honestly feel a little sorry for people who try to take that one on. I really only published it for the purposes of education and inspiration of other knitters, not because I actually expected anyone else would be masochistic enough to do it! :) But y'know, it takes all kinds. I guess there are actually some people out there who are as crazy as I am!

Stranded vest for moi
On Monday evening, I finished it.

And I. LOVE. It.

I am thrilled. Seriously, seriously pleased with how it looks. Mind you, it is a bit wide, it comes right out to the tips of my shoulders, which I think is too much. When I write up the final version of the pattern I will make the armholes deeper. But I still love it, and wore it yesterday, and felt like a million bucks. DH took some photos, and now all I have to do is print them off on some photo paper, do up a swatch, write up the proposal, and shoot it off to a pattern magazine. Whee!

There is just one downer here. The Sockina Colori yarn which I'm using as one of the two colours - the yarn which is key to achieving the awesome visual effect that makes the whole piece - is now discontinued. Words cannot express my frustration. I mean, seriously! This is the second time I've started designing something with a Schoeller & Stahl yarn and had the rug pulled out from under me partway through the process because the yarn got discontinued. I'm pretty POed, I don't mind saying, and I hereby swear that I shall never use another Schoeller & Stahl yarn in any of my design prototypes again. I just can't trust them. I'm going to submit the design anyway, though, because it's too good not to, and anyway, maybe there's an adequate substitute yarn out there...somewhere. Anyone know of a 3-ply sock yarn where one ply is black, another white, and the third variegating in rainbow colours? Anyone? Bueller?

Really Christmas socks for Dad
Also done!

Well, sort of. The first sock is too short in the foot. I'm going to have to lengthen it before I can give the socks to my dad. Curses.

Foot-pampering socks for moi
I've really been on fire, because this is also done! I'm really pleased with how they look, fit and feel, so hooray!

The completion of these socks means something else really good. It means that I now have socks from my pattern done up in large baby, child, woman and man sizes, which means that I can take a family photo of the socks on four different sizes of foot (the specific feet to be photographed of course belonging to me, my husband and my two girls). This will bring me one step closer to being able to send off the final version of the pattern. DH is working tonight, but maybe we can get everyone's socks on them on Thursday when we all get home.

Anouk for baby Mendez
This is coming along very nicely, considering that I only work on it in front of the computer. This is because I started the project when I had a laptop right next to me on the couch, so I was able to knit it without needing to print out a copy. At first, only working from the online instructions was just a well-the-laptop's-right-here-why-not thing, but now it's turned into a bit of a refusal-to-give-in, save-the-trees kind of deal.

But this hasn't hampered my progress so far - both sides and pockets are finished. I decided to duplicate stitch the flower motifs onto the pockets after the fact rather than go through the hassle of knitting intarsia with cotton as I go. (Ick.)

It's turning out really adorably, and is such a cute and fast knit. My only complaint so far has been that the shoulder instructions are completely mixed up and thus rather incomprehensible. Left, right, back and front labels seem to have been assigned randomly, so it took me a good deal of back-and-forthing between the instructions and the garment to figure out which instructions should probably be applied to which shoulder sections.

Itsy-bitsy baby socks
So after I finished the whole socks-for-the-family marathon, I decided to see what other sizes would turn out to look like, so I cast on for the wee baby size using the leftover Trekking XXL from my daughter's leggings. Result: very wee and very cute. I'm only about two-thirds done the first sock, but it's really sweet. And FAST, holy cow! (This shouldn't surprise me, given the size of the feet the socks are being made for, but it does.)

Stretchy socks for Mom
And the sock jag continues. I decided I wanted to use my own pattern for these socks instead of the toe-up thing I had going before, so I ripped it out. However, I've started the cast-on about twice and it's not tight enough, so I'm going to have to do it again with smaller needles and then switch to bigger ones once I have the stitches all set up. (Insert grumbling here.)

Double-faced bib
And finally...this project. Amazingly, it's not socks. :) I got back into it because I really want to finish it up, and also because nothing else in my list of current projects appeals right now. It's coming along very nicely, and I'm just one row away from starting to divide for the neckhole.


Carrie K said...

Gentle oblique hinting, that's me.

They deleted it entirely? That's hilarious.

Woot for Lolli!

Bad S&S yarn.

Laura said...

Awww you're so sweet to link to my blog, thank you!
I'm still knitting away at the blanket (I was so crazy to think I might actually finish it over the Olympics!) and still absolutely loving the pattern! :)
L x