Thursday, December 20, 2007

socks and things

I had decided not to do any gift knitting this year - I know me, and I know that I am too easily distracted to get hand-knitted gifts finished by a deadline. I'm a night before sort of person. In college, I would begin the writing on a ten page paper the night before it was due. In October, I began this sweater the night before Mina's second birthday:

Pattern: Swing Thing, from MagKnits
Yarn: Rio de la Plata 3 ply merino in pink carnation
Needles: size US 8/5.0 mm for the body and US 7/4.5 mm for the arms (my flat gauge is tighter than my gauge in the round)

It still needs the buttons sewn on, buttonloops crocheted, and the underarm ends woven in and gaps tightened up, but those things will be done shortly and this will get wrapped up and put under the tree. I've also been planning a simple quilt for the girlie, but so far I only have the fabric cut into strips. We'll see how that goes. I may be sewing it together after she goes to bed on Christmas Eve - that's totally my style.

The night before Thanksgiving, I decided I needed the very simplest of projects to keep my fidgety hands busy while visiting with family the next day. Something that required no thought and only an infrequent glance. How about plain socks? I chose one of the more highly variegated yarns from my stash and and did the toe, so all I would have to do was knit round and round.

Yarn: BMFA Socks that Rock lightweight, Puck's Mischief
Pattern: none (see below)
Needles: size 2.5 mm Addi Lace 47" circular

These socks went so fast! My mom admired the yarn so much on Thanksgiving day that I decided they would be her Christmas gift. I already knew that I preferred to knit socks toe up. This was my first time doing magic loop rather than dpn's, and I am a convert! My circ is rather long, but it worked for me. I really like the Addi Lace's smoothness at the joins and flexible cable, but the metal is hard on my hands. My fingers and wrists ache after knitting for a couple of hours with this needle. I'm hoping that KnitPicks Harmony needles will be a good substitute for me - we'll see in January when I can order some. Anyway, for these socks I used the magic cast on from Knitty and the chart in the Summer '07 issue of Interweave Knits (from the toe up sock tutorial) to guide me through the toe and heel. I think they are knit over 54 stitches (my gauge is a bit loose) and they fit perfectly. My mom has the same size feet as me, so I know they'll fit her too. I didn't realize until I was partway through the second sock that the Addi size 1 is a 2.5 mm rather than a 2.25 mm, hence the loose gauge and surprising speediness. The socks feel great though, good enough that I immediately began another pair.

This is STR lightweight again, in Carbon or Carbon Dating (label says Carbon Dating, but it looks identical to the colorway on the website called Carbon). These ones are for me! I've decided to use up all my variegated sock yarn stash this way. I'm not a fan of variegated yarns combined with lace or textural patterns - it's just too much going on at once for my taste. And I am still trying to decide what to do with this poor thing:

I don't even remember when I started this sock. In the spring? The only good thing about it is that it is toe up. Bad things - dpns and ribbing. I knit English style (definitely "throw" my yarn!) and ribbing is such a pain! I have two skeins of this Colinette Jitterbug and had planned to make knee socks. I think I'll not do that, just because I know it would take me years to finish both of them (so boring) and I really dislike how the purple is striping. I want my colors to really mix up, thanks. No pooling, flashing, striping, etc. for me. So I can't decide. There is a bit more done, though not much, than when this photo was taken in September. I have no motivation to knit the second sock. Ever. Should I frog an entire perfectly-fitting sock so I can reknit it in stockinette on magic loop?