Sunday, February 28, 2010

Much Better

Well, it's been quite a week! But I have survived, and am feeling much better now.

Last week, late in the afternoon, I started feeling unwell, and had some abdominal discomfort. Something I ate? Only had a sandwich at lunch, shouldn't be that. But it kept getting worse, and was making me very concerned. I did get home, and didn't feel like having any supper, and went to bed early.

Of course, the pains were getting more and more bothersome. I didn't sleep all night, just couldn't find the right position where I didn't hurt and could sleep. I still went in to work, suffered through the day -- it was ever so long when I didn't get any sleep -- and had chills all day long. But I'm normally cold at work, so that wasn't unusual. The security person came around in the afternoon and said I looked flushed... my face did feel hot, but I was still shivering.

Eventually, I got home at the end of the day, and went straight to bed. I had no supper again. I woke up during the night, and took 2 aspirins for the fever, and slept a little. I got up a few hours later and took 2 more, and slept again. I stayed in bed for 18 hours, and felt a lot better when I finally got up. I wasn't that hungry yet, so didn't do much in the day, had a nap in the afternoon, and went to bed early again. I just needed the rest!

By Monday, I was better, and went to work, but it was several days later that I was feeling back to normal -- or as normal as I can be. But it was a bit of a rough time for a few days there... and gave me much time to think about a few things that I have ignored. I'll have to do something about that now.

So there has been no knitting! I just was not in that space where knitting would have been appropriate. There are times that I am just not in the mood, you know? And that's alright too... it will wait for me!

But now that I'm better, I guess I have no excuse! I have to get back to my work. It's waited long enough. I hope the socks have learned their lesson and are going to behave now!! LOL

Saturday, February 20, 2010

and around the bend

I have finally gotten around to doing the heel. It's not really that hard, but I've been finding that there seem to be so many other things that I am required to do, and that takes away from my knitting time.

Doing the heel with a flap from the bottom up means you have to do everything backwards, in a way, and think of the final goal and how to get there from here. Do you remember in highschool, having the answers in the back of the Algebra book, but you had to figure out how you get to it?? This is much the same.

Now, true, I need to do some calculations here. I start out with X number of stitches, and I need to end up with Z at the end, and I have Y nuimber of steps to get there. A real problem. However, it is possible to work it out. Just have to sit down without distractions and work them out.

So I have finally done it, and turned the heel, which I find really cool how it does that, and I am on my way. Not a problem!! Why did I think it would be? It all just works out, as it should. Here is a look at what I have so far:
I tried to show you how I did the heel, and you can also see the gussets. I did do each heel turn and the flap separately, since you really can't keep working in the round while on that part. It's not that hard, really --just need to keep focusing on what you are doing.

So far, I'm finding the yarn nice to work with. It's quite even, and is holding up ..... Oh, darn it!! I just spotted an error -- a huge glaring mistake! So now what?? Do I rip out (I have a rule about never ripping out) or do I ignore it and keep on going. But it will keep bothering me. Oh, darn! I'm sick over all of this... I think I'm going to go lie down for awhile.

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's started

After doing the swatch, and determining which needles I wanted to use, and deciding on the 3/1 patterning, I cast on!

I am doing these toe-up because... well, because I want to! I like doing them toe-up and trying out different heels. It is a good way if you don't know how many stitches to cast on -- try them on until they are large enough! I am not sure how long to make them either, so this is a better way to go. I don't have to worry about not having enough yarn -- I think I have enough for a couple pairs -- and I do like a challenge. I've decided to try and do them as traditionally as possible, with the heel flap, and to do them in reverse, so to speak. I've done this before some time in the past, after struggling to find a way to do it that way. It is rather easy, when I finally figured it out!

I will do the toe and the heel in white, perhaps a little around the top of the cuff, and the rest of the sock will be in the grey. It is going to be very appropriate for a farmer in winter! I don't want to try and do anything fancy. Here is a pic so far:

I am doing both socks at the same time, on one circular. I don't do second socks very well, and since I don't have a pattern (I don't keep notes unfortunately) so doing them both at the same time is insurance that they will be the same. I used Judy Becker’s Magic Cast-On for the toes. I've used this method several times for all sorts of things, and I just enjoy doing a small sample when I am bored. It's so ingenius and so simple! Gotta love it! Oh, the red thread? That is my marker showing me the beginning of the round. I used it when making the increases on the toes, and it just stayed. I'll need it later for the gussets and heels. I just use a piece of smooth yarn in a contrast colour and it works really well. I also use it for counting rounds.

I'm coming up to the heel soon, so I want to put in some gussets. I had better concentrate now and put them in the right spots. More to follow!

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Required Swatch

So I'm doing this right. In order to plan this project, I need to do my swatch. I've chosen a needle size, and after a couple rows, I can see it is too loose. Then I used a smaller needle, and it's much better. I want a firm fabric for socks to wear well, so this will do just fine.

I did find, though, that the smaller needle size was harder to work with. I can feel the extra strain on my hands. So this will be a little tougher to do, but I will manage.

I used 4.0 mm and 3.25 mm needles. I have some nice bamboo needles that I really quite like, but not enough for both socks at the same time. I don't like doing one and then the other -- I always forget what I had done on the first! No, I don't follow a pattern! These will be knit toe-up, and I make up the design as I go along. I haven't yet determined how I will do the gusset or the heels. I do want the toe and heel to be in white, the rest in grey, but I don't like short-row heels, but am not sure how the flap will look in white. Shall see when I get there, I suppose! Why worry about it before I need to?

I do want a simple rib on the instep and around the leg, so tried out a 3/1 rib on the swatch, with both needles. Yes, the smaller works better. One thing I noticed, which I should have known, is how much the fabric pulls in with the smaller needles! You can see in my swatch, in the stocking stitch area, and in the ribbing, how much they have pulled in, even with these few stitches. This is compounded when you are doing a sock, or even a sleeve! Something to keep in mind.

Here is the swatch, with the needles placed next to their corresponding section.
Now, to cast on.

Thursday, February 04, 2010


Those hanks I showed you drying have now been twisted up into a skein waiting to be used. I just wanted to show you a closer pic of them. I really like the way they look! I like a yarn with more plys to the inch than the regular stuff we tend to do.

My teacher said I need to ply a balanced yarn. But when I did, it was too loose for my tastes. Well, that is easy to fix, right? Just put more twist into the singles, then you need to put more twists in the ply and you will get what you want... in theory. So I did. But even then, with so much twist in the singles that I was getting tangles before I could ply them, it was still not what I wanted if it was a balanced yarn.

So I just did what I needed to do. These singles have a LOT of twist in them. I was careful in the plying to put in the amount I wanted.. it kinked up badly. Well, of course, it would be said to be over-plied! But as I showed you, once washed, they seemed to balance themselves out, and were very happy where they were! I dunno... but I liked the result and the yarn seems to be quite happy to be there too. (am I seeing more than I should??)

Anyway, here's a pic. More to come later.