I have mixed feelings about September. It means back to school (which means preparation and marking for me, and it cuts down on Sunday as a generally available day for knitting time). It means more traffic because all the parents and kids are back at school. It also means that it starts to get darker earlier and it gets a little colder. I have to wear a jacket to walk the dogs, and it even means having to wear long pants.
But it also means I can knit whatever I want. After I finished my last pair of socks in August, I immediately cast on some new things.
I had already started a ribbed sock in the Stray Cat Socks in the Chewy Apple colourway. I haven’t touched it in several weeks, though. So as there has been no actual progress, I'm not going to insert a pic.
I did finish the first of the Vanilla Cheshire Cat socks. Sock #1 was started on July 28 and finished on September 8. But I don’t know what i was thinking. I did the sock on 2.25 mm needles (when I usually use 2.50 mm), and I only did 60 rows for the foot. That might be okay for a 2.50 mm sock, but not with only 2.25 mm needles. So I had merrily decreased for the toe and grafted it and wove in the ends before asking Princess to try it on.
It was a little too short for her liking. So I did a mental eyeroll and decided I would fix it, but not right away.
Yesterday I decided to fix it. I managed to undo the toe and start ripping back. Then I decided there was no point in just picking up at the point where I started the toe decreases, because I was going to run out of yarn and would have to add in more yarn anyway. So I looked at the skein, and it was ready to start a black row, so I had to rip back the sock to the beginning of the next black row, cut the yarn, and then start again with the black from the skein. I ended up ripping back to the 55-row mark, and then knit another 17 rows (so that the foot was 72 rows) before starting the toe decreases.
Princess now declares it perfect. All I have to do is knit another one ...
Because she’s so hard on socks, I decided to see whether the alternating knit and knit through the back loop rows would snug up the fabric on the heel and toe and make it any denser / more Princess resistant. I really like the feel of the fabric.
Princess is between jobs right now, so she probably doesn’t need it urgently, but I won’t leave it until 2014 before I start the second one.
I do now know that Princess prefers a plain stockinette foot. She doesn’t care what the leg looks like (although I suspect that anything patterned is wasted on her), but she really prefers a vanilla foot. That’s fine by me. It’s fast and easy.
So I have one of those finished. I also have a pair of quasi Polyommatus argiolus socks.
I say quasi because I neglected to read the pattern correctly, and I forgot the purl rows. It’s a translation error. As we know from my previous post, I always use a knitting notebook, and I copy the charts onto the graph paper. When I copied the chart for the first Polyommatus argiolus sock, I failed to notice that every second repeat was purls rather than knits. I couldn’t figure out why there was a 20-row pattern when rows 1-10 and rows 11-20 were identical. It’s because they’re not, duh, but it was far too late for me by the time I realized that.
I decided to use my precious skein of Tanis Fiber Arts (Blue Label) in Iris. Iris was one of those colours which I fell in love with when I first saw it. I certainly believe in yarn love at first sight. Such was Iris for me. The colours are amazing -- there’s magenta and purple and lavender and copper and a beautiful deep sea blue. It’s amazing. Every row is a joy to knit.
I started on August 31 and finished the second sock on September 14.
I’m not sure how I feel about the twisted decrease stitches. They were kind of fiddly to work. I had a lot of splitting issues. I suppose the end result is probably more clear than if I had just done k2tog or ssk, but those twisted stitches do slow the process down a fair bit.
I don’t love the pattern enough to do it again, even with the purls. It’s okay, but I have many other patterns I’d like to do first.
I did start the Watermelon Slice sock by Wendy Gaal. Great pattern, and the beads are mercifully large enough that the crochet hook method of attaching them is working for me. But the yarn is a wee bit nylon-heavy and vaguely scratchy feeling. Princess really likes this sock, but she’d never wear it because of the beads.
The pattern is written as a toe-up, but I infinitely prefer cuff-down, so that’s how I’m doing it. If you want to see what it looks like from the other direction, you can check out Christine’s blog.
I decided my hands needed something with some cashmere, so I cast on for a new sock using the Plucky Knitter Primo which Christine sent for my birthday. The colour is Webster Grove. It’s more grey than purple, but it is knitting up beautifully.
I decided to go with the Coriolis Effect socks by Verybusymonkey rather than the Angee socks by Cookie A. It’s one of those patterns with mirrored left and right socks, and it’s a nice simple lace and ribbing pattern.
I’ll save yarn and news for the next blog post.
And under the category of random things in my life, I passed some very cool planter boxes on my way to school last week. I don’t know what these plants are, but they’re very cool.
And speaking of cool. Best. Backpack. Ever.
Yes, I am 6 years old.
And no, I don’t care. Because I am the 6-year old with the coolest backpack ever.