search rainy day goods...
backstage
Friday
Nov262004

Here's a question...

Do you think if I knit really, really fast all day I could burn off the calories from my Thanksgiving dinner?  Just wondering.

The Sock.  I love the sock I'm working on.  I love the baby cable ribbing, I love the colors, I love that I decided to knit a peace sign into the heel, and I love the fact that having heel-picture socks means that I have to go out and buy myself some clogs.  I even love that I stayed up until 2 am knitting said peace sign... until I realized that I had charted the whole thing wrong and was going to have a heel flap that came to, say, my mid-calf before I was even at the prong-y part of the peace sign.  This was a counting mistake people.  Counting.  To 32.  I got that wrong, and then didn't double check it.  Who doesn't double check their charts before actually knitting it?  I could maybe see it if the design was a heart- I usually just make those up on the fly, it's a pretty basic shape.  But a peace sign?  At least I know they are going to be lovely and warm and adorable, and I only wish that my digital camera (or the connection software, I'm not sure which yet) wasn't acting totally insane so that I could upload the photos in progress.  Hopefully later on this evening. 

I finished the Frankenbootie.  Once again, sorry about the lack of pictures (yet).  I have a whole photo essay on this one, a little thing I like to call "The Evolution of the Frankenbootie".  Now, even in it's perfectly cute and non-Frankenbootie incarnation, the name, as you can see, has stuck.  Poor little Frankenbootie.

As I type the peace sock is sitting to the left of my keyboard... it is calling to me... it wants me to turn the heel... and begin the gusset...

I had a really great Thanksgiving.  There were four of us (Jacob and I ate with Kuma- his sister- and her husband Kelly).  Here is what there was to eat:  Mac and Cheese, creamed spinach, greens, vegetable quiche, cranberry chutney, cheese and crackers, pickles and olives, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, garlic mashed potatoes, hot rolls, biscuits, stuffing/dressing, pumpkin pie, chess pie (for you non-southerners, this is basically pecan pie without the pecans- yes, that means it is a Sugar Pie) and turkey for the non-vegetarians (everyone but me).  For four people.  I've been full all morning, by which I don't mean to imply that I haven't been snacking on leftovers. 

peace sock, why do you torture me so?  You know that I love you.   I'm just trying to update my blog... it's a commitment, you know- not that I'm not committed to you.  Maybe just 2 more rows on you and I can move on with my day...?  What if I just finish the heel and promise to do the gusset later...

 

Monday
Nov222004

Cold Feet

I had a really hard time getting to sleep last night.  It wasn't that I didn't need to rest- I was yawning, tossing and turning, couldn't keep my eyes open.  I counted sheep, I made mental to-do lists, I did some deep breathing.  I kept thinking I had something else to do- why on earth couldn't I just fall asleep?  Then it hit me.  I had a hard time getting to sleep because my feet were freezing. 

Now, I am a Knitter.  A Knitter by profession, a Knitter by passion.  I am always knitting.  This time of year- when it starts to get chilly, when it is time to bundle up, is the time when I and other Knitters rejoice.  It is the time for us to bring out the things we have foolishly worked on throughout the year, bundle up, and enjoy the wooly (or alpaca-y, or mohair-y, or silk-y) goodness.  Knitters should never have cold feet, especially not feet so cold they lose valuable sleep.  But not me, oh no, here I am, shivering with cold feet because I have only kept for myself one pair of socks I have made, and yesterday I couldn't find them because I was having a slight... laundry situation (read: Mt Laundrymore).  Ahem.

It's not that I don't enjoy knitting socks- I do.  The heel, the fun yarns, what's not to love?  Ever since I gave Jacob his first pair of handknit socks for his birthday two years ago- thankfully one was still on the needles at gift time because he did not believe I had knit the finished one ("where did you get these?  J. Crew?") and then sat there with the finished one on one foot, a grin on his face, while he waited for the mate to be completed- I have been a fan of sock-knitting.  But I've only kept one pair for myself.  The last pair of socks I made were intended for me, but I finished them while visiting my grandparents.  And if you can finish a pair of socks while sitting next to your Mam-maw, and your Mam-maw complements the socks and remarks on how beautiful the colors are (lime green, teal, and grey/white/black fair-isle bits), if you can finish these socks and think about how your Mam-maw lives in a state where there actually is winter, if you can finish these socks with all these things going on and not give them to your Mam-maw, well then, you weren't brought up right.

So here I was last night, lying in bed, with cold feet, sockless.  And with no socks on the needles, either (what is wrong with me?).  Which of course, kept me up thinking a little while longer.  First of all, I do have that Rule... you know the one... the Rule that says I am absolutely not allowed to cast on another project until I finish everything I am working on.  I want to follow the Rule, I really do... but at the same time, I do believe at this point I might as well stop kidding myself.  Besides- I already broke the Rule, with the Cabled Newsboy Cap, and I had to frog it anyway, so a teeny little pair of socks could just slip in where the Cap left off and be my replacement project.  I mean, I'm not going to start the Cap over right away because I had a realization (while tossing and turning and surreptitiously sneaking my icicle feet closer to Jacob's warm ankles) that I need to use Anny Blatt Ksar for the brim.  I've never knit with it, we have tons at the store, and it's just so pretty it makes my teeth hurt.  And elegant enough, I think, with those rich colors, to go with the really special handspun.  Also, I'm in good shape to start a new project- the hot mama poncho is very nearly done and is going to be delivered on Thanksgiving.  The pink-y binky is going well, the swirt just needs a few ends woven in, the all we are saying pillow can wait, the felted 80's mom sweater bag had a good 20 years of being unfinished before it even got into my queue, all the rest of the baby things don't need to be finished until the end of January for pete's sake, and my feet are cold NOW.

So, new socks for me.  And I do have Koigu... lots and lots of Koigu.  Now, I know, I bought that Koigu for a sweater.  But I have enough Koigu for two sweaters, because I wanted to make a striped sweater with a little extra colorwork, and I bought enough of every color so I wouldn't have to be conservative with anything when figuring out the pattern.   A KPPPM and several Koigu solids- colors that are in the variegated.  But there are two hanks of creamsicle orange- a cheerful color, but truly a little too bright to go with the rest of the scheme (rich chocolate... forest green... mmmmm).  And I have almost a whole hank left of beautiful, jewel-toned KPPPM that I used to knit some baby booties last year.  They look great together.  I'm going to do it.  Forget my stupid Rule, why do I torture myself, my feet are cold! What kind of self-respecting Knitter goes to bed sockless with cold feet?

So today, all day long, I thought about socks.  I thought about socks while I worked on the poncho.  I thought about socks while I tweaked the pattern for the Frankenbootie.  I thought about socks while I conquered Mt Laundrymore (and I found my other pair of hand-knit woolies, thanks for wondering).  Did I want anklets?  What kind of pattern?  How did I want to use the two colors together?  Stripes?  Clever intarsia on the heel, like the fabulous Tiptoe pattern from Knitty?  One thing I knew is that I did not want to use a pattern this time.  I've always tweaked the sock formula I followed (surprise surprise) and by now I know that at heart, socks are pretty simple things.  There are some basic rules and a lot of room to play.  But still, this being the first time I'm truly going it alone from scratch on a pair of socks, I didn't want to try any fancy lacy numbers.  But plain old K2P2 rib on the cuff... Zzzzzz.  Not fancy enough.  I had a sneaking suspicion my answer would be right where it so often is... in Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns.  And I was right.  Baby Cable Ribbing, right there in Treasury #1.  So simple- really just K2P2 with a little twist (ha ha, get it?) every 4th row.  Cast on with jewel-toned variegated, work for 2 "cable" repeats, switch to the creamsicle, and off I go.  I'll make up my mind about the heel when I get there (gosh I love socks) and for sure I'll continue the pattern down the foot (I don't like it when everything just... stops).  I think it would be really pretty to have the baby cables taper to a point as they goes down the foot. 

My feet feel warmer already...