Friday, October 27, 2006

(Un) Inspired?

Maybe it's the weather or maybe it's deadlines, but I am not feeling particularly inspired this week. The navy Baby Surprise Jacket is finished and delivered. The Interlocking Balloons Scarf is finished and ready for a photo shoot. The first of the Travelers' Socks is finished. Grumperina even provided me the idea for my next non-knitalong sock pattern. Everything is going well, but nothing seems worth blogging. At least a finished object always makes me happier.

Project: Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise Jacket from The Opinionated Knitter.
Yarn: Lion Brand Woolease Worsted Weight in Navy (I know, but it will stand up to baby drool) - 1 3/4 skeins
Needles: US 5 24" Circular needles by Clover
Buttons: Little baseball buttons from JHB International
Notes: Amazing design. Easy and fun and, well, surprising! This will definitely become a staple in my baby knitting repertoire. Oh, and to anyone who may have misunderstood, Mr. Engineer was not the one who had a problem with the pastel sweater for a boy. However, he was the one who wisely understood the indented recipient family. Considering the wild things that Young Man wears, we don't worry about a little pastel in our house.

Finally, this should make me happy. This was what was leftover when I finished off the Interlocking Balloons scarf. Amazing.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Suddenly I See

We had thunder and lightning last night! It was exciting, but sent a party full of kids into screams. There wasn't much rain after all the excitement, but it was a nice change. The weather also gave us a very nice Saturday Sky moment.

In Socktoberfest news, a pair of socks are complete!

Pattern: Lacy Scallops Socks by SockBug
Yarn: Opal Petticoat 1290 (the original)
Needles: US 1 DPNs
Notes: Great yarn + great pattern = fabulous socks! I do enjoy Opal. The hard part can be finding sock designs that don't fight with the color patterns of the yarn. These two were meant for each other.

Finally, in Zimmermaniac news, there are two half sweaters. I was making great progress on a Baby Surprise Jacket. Then Mr. Engineer pointed out that there was no way that the father of the intended recipient would ever let his son wear pastel. That the pastel had some lavender in it just sealed the fate of the sweater. It will be finished, but it will go to some other deserving child.

A quick trip to the yarn store later, and I was happily knitting away on BSJ #2. This one is in a manly, navy blue. It should be perfect.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Saturday Socks

Life is moving at warp speed again. Wednesday was Young Man's 9th birthday. NINE! Where has the time gone? He is happy and having a great time with his latest Transformer and all is well. The Saturday sky from last week is far more interesting than today's sky, so I am posting this one for Sandy.

Speaking of time moving on, it is already Socktoberfest. Yet another one has snuck up on me. In honor of that, here are my answers to Lolly's introductory questions.

When did you start making socks?
I started making socks in 2005. I never thought that I would enjoy handknit socks. Boy, was I wrong! I love my socks!

Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?
I am completely self-taught. I used free instructions from an internet tutorial put together on the Knit & Chat Delphi Forum and then went on with books and other instructions.

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?
I finished my first pair in April 2005. I still like them, but I haven't worn them in quite a while.

What would you have done differently?
The biggest thing that I would have changed is that I would have used a stretchier cast-on. At the time I knit these, I only knew one cast-on. The cast-on edges are too tight and the yarn has broken twice when attempting to wear them. They are now in the mending box (a.k.a. The Box of No Return) waiting for me to re-knit the cuffs.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?
Oh, boy, I love sock yarn! I liked the Trekking that I discovered this summer and I really adored the Mountain Colors Bearfoot that I discovered last summer (sooooo soft!). I'm starting to become adicted to Koigu and one of my local yarn shops has started stocking Koigu KPPPM. Just what I needed! I also like Opal yarns and how can I forget Wildefoote? Face it, I just love sock yarn!

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?
I haven't tried crocheting socks. I used to crochet a lot and was quite good at it, but I really prefer knitting. I also haven't tried using circular needles on socks. I love my DPNs. Okay, so I love them less when I reach into my bag and come out with a stab wound. I need one of those cool needle cover thingies that Stephanie discovered (either wooden or tin).

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)
Most of my socks have been knit with flap heels. I've only made one short-row heel. I liked the effect, but I need more practice.

How many pairs have you made?
This question prompted me to do a count. I have made 23 3/4 pairs of socks! Here they are (less four pairs that were gifted out of the family). How's that for showing my socks, Jane?

As promised, this is a better picture of the Koigu Birthday socks that I completed recently. The colors are hard to capture, but the combination of teal, blue, and purple reminds me of our relaxing week at the lake in July. It seems so long ago! The current socks on the needles are Lacy Scallops from Sock Bug. I am knitting them in the original Opal Petticoat. These are bright! They should make a great gift for Young Man's teacher. I love socks.