Enjoy this post…

December 29, 2013

I think they have quite a valid point.

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I made a mistake…

December 27, 2013

…and I’m not going to fix it.

Actually, it appears I have made two mistakes. I don’t admit these words often; unless I am knitting. Then I’m pretty darned sure there’s a mistake somewhere. Let me tell you about the mistake, then I will tell you about my decisions not to fix it.
The first mistake I noticed is knitting from a Master Class book when you are still an intermediate knitter. I’m not saying you should have mastered cabling before you touch this book, but when you see a lace pattern and you have never worked with lace before, you should consult someone with more knowledge than you, or seek to find more knowledge. The lace pattern itself is not hard to read, but it does seem to be inverted. But that’s moving onto the second mistake. I’ll revisit this in a couple of weeks, even if you’ve already guessed it.

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In the sock pattern I’m knitting, I finally got to the heel flap. Thank goodness! I like this pattern, but 80 rows of 80 stitches wants for a little relief after a few weeks. I was looking forward to simple, almost mindless stockinette stitch heel flap knitting. I didn’t get it, except I may have remained mindless. I must say, knitting has a way of bringing you back into the moment when you realize a mistake. There are inter pattern mistakes where you only have to rip out a row or two to fix, and that is a bother, but to my knowledge, it hasn’t done anyone irrevocable harm yet. With the exception of the significant other who dares joke about it, possibly. Make sure the jurors are knitters if your dear joker takes offense to said injury.

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Back to the actual mistake…I read into things. The book explained with yarn in front (wyf) or with yarn in back(wyb) right in the instructions. I got used to wrap and turn when I was turning the heel on the sock monkey, so when I saw wyf in the pattern on the purl side, I made sure to wrap the yarn to the front of the stitch. Then I turned my work. I was at the end of the row. I also made quite sure to wrap the yarn in back on every knit side. Then I turned the work. Since I was at the end of the row when I turned, the wrapping is unnecessary. And while this is only my third pair of socks, or my fifth sock knitted, I have never wrapped and turned on a heel flap. I’m not sure I have the words…, at least, not here.

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When I realized this, I was twenty rows into my heel flap, or about half way done. There are 9 wrapped ends on either side of the sock. I looked at it when I realized it, and decided I was not ripping out and re-knitting all of those rows. I don’t expect the mistake will be terribly noticeable. If I decide it is, I can write it down on the pattern, and repeat it. If I had noticed this sooner, or if it was going to affect the design or function of my project, I would have frogged the knit rows and re-knit them. It doesn’t. Some days, you choose to live with the mistakes, and call them angel kisses. Thank you, Dear Angels, for kissing my work so often. See my upcoming blog about gussets to get back to my other mistake. Some weeks, I’m good at making mistakes. Once in a while, I’m okay with admitting that I made a mistake.

 

While I was knitting my first pair of socks, a friend told me about her experience with knitting socks. She knit a pair for her first husband. when he put them on the wear them, he found he could not wear them. They were too warm. She did not knit another pair of socks. Part of me felt sorry for her, for I found socks challenging, and a bit fun.

Since I require challenge in my projects, each tends to be a little tougher than the last. But, are they too warm for wear? Another friend who knits her own socks (and is addicted), admits she cannot wear socks in the summer months and mostly only wears them in the winter on hot chocolate snow days. I admit, the wool socks are warm, and the acrylic feel too plastic on my feet, though I do wear them when I am in a pinch.

I honestly don’t think knit socks are too warm for wear, and I find I wear mine a little more often than Liz seems to wear hers. But Liz grew up in a slightly colder climate and may be made of slightly hardier stock than me. Personally, I put my socks on as soon as I give in and turn in my heater. Usually, I wear them at home on weekends, so if it is not cold enough for warm, woolly socks; I may change them. However, I have begun wearing them to the preschool class I’ve been teaching in for two reasons: 1) I love them, 2) We go outside for recess with the kids, and you want the gift of warm feet when their is six inches of snow on the ground. You especially want this if you’ve forgotten your own boots that day. I have.

I do find as we put the kids down for rest, or as I get more active in the classroom, the socks can get a little warm. But I have not been so uncomfortable that I must remove myself from the classroom to take them off. I am also grateful for their warmth when I am outside, as I mentioned before. I do not think knit socks are too warm, but I will make concessions.

I do believe that if you are the person others cuddle up to when it gets cold in the room, then knit socks may be too warm for you. There still may be days you can wear them, such as to shovel 8 inches of snow that fell overnight. I do feel that if you always have cold feet and hands, you will appreciate most anything knit, especially socks. I do expect one would have less use for knit socks in the south of the U.S., such as Florida, where my brother currently lives. However, there were days in Virginia Beach that I would have worn the knit socks and appreciated them. If the heat goes out, you know exactly which socks to grab now, right?

However, I like to wear my socks often and for as long a season as I can. So, after I received the generous gift of Sock Knitting, Master Class, by Ann Budd, I have chosen a lacy style of sock that should be able to be warn on simply chilly spring and fall days. “My love for openwork patterns is often apparent in the socks I knit. I find such patterns an appealing alternative to the more solid foot coverings. Especially during periods of transitional weather, a little openwork can go a long way in making sock fabric breathable and comfortable.”

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While the knitting of the sock is coming along a little slower than I expect; I can hope to have these socks finished by Spring, so that I may test this theory. I’m hoping I find it to be a working theory as well. For now, my latest sock photo likely has an inch added to where I was before, and in another inch, I’ll look at beginning the heel. This heel looks like a simple ribbed heel pattern that shall match the ribbing in the cuff and the lace. I hope it looks as good as I expect.

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Lacy Socks, Pair #3

December 6, 2013

I must confess, I’m like a kid wearing a favorite shirt when it comes to my hand-knit socks. I just don’t want to take them off to wash them. I know I need to, but the wool hugs my feet and makes me want to snuggle up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and a good movie. I just don’t want to take them off…but I don’t want to smell like old socks either. I wish I could just take a bath with them on and wash them that way, but I know that won’t work, I’d have to rinse them very well and then take them off to wring them out and let them dry. I’m also pretty sure my body wash isn’t the best soap for them either, even if they may smell like coconut lime when I’m done. So, I must knit new socks…that way, I can just put on another pair. I may become someone who does not wear socks in the summer as a result.

So, I found a pretty pair that is a bit lacy and I’m hoping a bit cooler. Right now, when temperatures are dipping into the teens and we still have to take the preschoolers outside, I’m grateful for really warm socks. Later, when I’m sitting inside with an older grade, or back in a desk job, I may find the socks a little warm for the environment. So, I found a lacy sock pattern I like, began an elastic cuff that sort of fits the pattern, and began knitting. I’m still only half way through knitting the leg now. I have had to slip in two pair of Belle Ruffle Gloves which were easier to knit and very well received by my nieces for their Christmas gifts.

I am loving the yarn. It is a soothing and pretty wool, by Wildfoote called Lilac Desert. I’m loving the colors, but I think the pattern would show up better on a plain color sock yarn. Alas, I’m committed and in love with the combination I have managed so far.

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P.S. I did change my socks today. However, part of me can’t wait until I can try on this pair.