Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Spring Arrives!

Although Spring arrived almost 2 weeks ago, this is the view that greeted me this morning when I got out of bed and looked out the window:

It was so very nice early in March, and was quite shorts weather. The little shrub outside the front door has already set out it's leaves, and the dahlias have pushed up several inches of shoots. Then this.

Those of us that have lived in this city for a number of years should be used to this now. I'm not quite used to it, but I am resigned to it; it changes all the time, so be prepared for anything. There is a new co-worker at the desk next to me that has arrived a month ago from "the other side of the mountain" where winters are rather mild, and the snow is heavy and wet. By now, spring has taken a good hold "back home" and she is expecting the same here. No, no, I keep telling her, never put away your winter coat! You can never tell what will happen in the afternoon, so be prepared for anything. Even this.

Now, I imagine some of you were waiting for the second sock, and the description of the wonderful discovery I have made. Which should have been here, if only it weren't for a small little thing that happened: I was told that it looks so much like a pattern that has already been published. Oh, damn! So I took a look at Widdershins, and indeed it is very similar. I did my turning of the heel slightly differently, but with very much the same effect. Incredible that we could come up with so similar results! I knew what I wanted to happen, and so created my pattern to do just that; apparently the creator of Widdershins had the same thought, and we reached almost the exact same solution.

Well, in reality, there are only a handful of ways to knit a sock. I think we've about developed all methods possible; we now will focus on variations and developing a library of pattern stitches. That's as it should be.

I still will go ahead and knit the second sock. Right now, it's all on hold. I was put into quite a downer once I learned I hadn't discovered anything new! I really had no desire to continue with this once-exciting project -- in fact, I had no interest in doing anything whatsoever! I have now sufficiently recovered to start moving again, and will go on to finish those socks (because I'm stubborn enough to do it) and maybe I might try to do them again -- once the pain is long forgotten. Perhaps I should try something completely different first. I think it would be a good learning exercise to document the development of the sock, with photos and text, just for my own use. However, someone has beat me to it as well: Charles has written a very good description of how he did it, along with VIDEOS of how he casts on, turns the heel with short-row and wraps, and the sewn cast-off. So go look at his, and I won't have to bother.

I am still continuing to spin. I was lucky enough to acquire about 3 lbs of some really wonderful grey wool. I have no idea of the breed, but it is so soft, and silky. It is spinning up very nicely, into a strong yarn, and I have about 3 skeins now, and continue to work on it almost every day. And yes, I am still using my CD spindle. A fellow knitter called me this week to say that he has the chance to buy a Louet wheel (at a very low price) and he wondered if learning to spin would be easy. He is going to take some lessons in a month, and has also purchased a lovely top-whorl spindle made by Ed Tabachek. Well, all I could tell him was that, as with all things, it's a bit awkward at first, but I have confidence that he will do very well with some practice, because he is very determined and a perfectionist.

I also got some really exciting news tonight! But I will have to tell you all about it next time.


Mel said...

Well, Duffy already sent you a link to the generic version of widdershins that I worked out. I figure it should also work for other variations of the heel - Dutch, German, Eye of Partridge vs. classic slip stitch, etc. I hope to explore some of those variations, but would love it if you got there before me and played around with them.

Mel said...

Oh, and our spring isn't much different. My daffodils got burned by a late hard freeze (-17C) in mid-March, and we're supposed to get a slop of mixed precipitation most of this week. True spring arrives in Maine around the beginning of June.

I did see my first groundhog of the year this afternoon, though.

Jigra Knits said...


Thanks for linking to my site. One of these days I'll rework the videos and diagrams into English. Your project on developing toe-up socks with all the different heels sounds great!
It's always nice to find other male knitters out there and Canadian to boot!
Happy knitting!

FiberQat said...

It's good to hear from you. I was wondering if you had gone back into hibernation.

While it's downheartening to learn that something you discovered has already been done, relish the joy of having discovered it completely on your own. It shows that you're understanding more about the way stitches behave when treated certain ways. Not to mention the excitement you created in the blogosphere amongst your fellow sock knitters.