Friday, September 29, 2006

Socks, a meme and a Sewing Companion

I've started my first official Socktoberfest socks. It's a few days early but they count, right? They are in Dancing yarn from Knit Picks in a tan, gold, blue, and green colorway, so they are very fallish. I'm knitting both at the same time, toe up, as mentioned before, just to get the process cemented in my head before attempting my next sock experiment.

My next sock challenge is to rewrite Bayerische as a toe up pattern. I doubt I'll attempt to do two socks at the same time, as this would be madness, given the complexity of the cable patterns and the pattern rewrite issues. I'll be swatching this weekend, just to see if I can get a decent gauge on 0 needles, since most of my socks are currently done on 1's or 2's at the most. Eunny mentions that these are very stretchy socks, so I'm hoping I don't have to go any smaller than 0's, since I knit very, very loose and usually have to go down 1 or 2 needles sizes on most commercial patterns.

If I can get to it in October, I am also going to attempt the 2-for-1 technique outlined in the latest Knitty issue. Instead of the socks being side by side, one is inside the other and you are both picking and throwing the yarn. Since I've been learning this technique for colorwork and to be able to knit backwards for entrelac, I thought it might be an interesting technique to challenge myself with for Socktoberfest.

Here's my answer to 10 Knitterly Things you didn't know about me, a meme from Grumperina.

1) I started knitting when I was 12, about 30 years or so ago.
2) I got really fast at knitting when I was a senior in high school when I was the head costume designer for a production of The Mouse That Roared. We needed chain mail for the soldiers and because I knew how to knit, I spent over 100 hours knitting silver metallic yarn on huge needles into rectangles for sleeves, hose and hoods for our soldiers. That's when I learned to pick. Throwing was just too cumbersome.
3) I started the Master Knitting program but just got bogged down by the boring swatching process. I intend to finish it someday but right now, I just have too many other (more interesting) things demanding my time and attention.
4) I knit sweaters for each of my serious boyfriends before finding out about the curse. When I met my future husband, I refrained from knitting for him until after the wedding. Muaahahaha.
5) I can't knit sweaters that fit for myself. Being a full-figured lady, I invariably pick a size too large and they all end up looking like big potato sacks. I keep swatching and trying again though. Samus is showing promise of being the first one that will fit (fingers crossed).
6) I was a machine knitter for many years and still own a knitting machine. I use it occasionally to make felted bags and to knit fabric up for local knit shops to felt for embellishment classes. I've been intrigued by the recent articles on knitting fabric to dye and then to unravel for hand knitting and felting.
7) Being somewhat ambidextrous (write right-handed, do sports left-handed), I taught myself to knit left-handed so I could work with left-handed students. I had one student who was so decidedly left-handed that it was pointless to try and teach her to knit any other way, so I learned to do it either way so I could be flexible.
8) I have not mastered picking left-handed - yet. It's a time constraint issue right now. I have too many WIP's and UFO's to really sit and concentrate on mastering left-handed knitting, especially since I'm not actively teaching knitting right now but it's on my someday list.
9) My pet peeve is really silly but it bugs me when people ask me if I made the sweater I'm wearing. Being a known knitter, everyone assumes I knit my own clothes. And it is to my own shame that I can't make sweaters fit me. I can sew costumes and clothing to fit other people but my own weird, full-figured shape makes me hard to fit. So it always bugs me when I have to say, "No, I bought this sweater." I have a whole list of excuses why I don't make sweaters - it's cheaper to buy them, I don't have time to make such a big project, this is too fine a gauge knit for me to attempt with my busy schedule - But the truth is, I can't make sweaters that fit me. Oh, the shame! So I just fume a little inside and go on trying to make a sweater that fits. (PLEASE let Samus fit, please, please, please).
10) I haven't met a knit technique I can't do, yet. I've tried everything I'm aware of so far and nothing has stumped me. Even the sock within a sock is just a variation of double knitting, which I have done. Being a visual learner and able to decipher written instructions with ease, I've been able to learn just about everything from books and, more recently, the internet. I hope it doesn't sound too boastful. I just haven't run across anything I haven't been able to figure out with a little trial and error. It doesn't mean I like to do everything I try. I just can figure it out and do it, if I have to. Except make sweaters fit my curves, that is. I guess short row shaping and pattern alteration should be my next research project.

Now, for that adorable little kitty picture. A fellow blogger has been bemoaning the fact that her cute dog insists on making her blocked knit pieces places to nap, with disastrous results. Well, my sweet knitting companion seems to think she has some obligation to help me with my sewing duties. I was helping one of my sewing students lengthen a costume pattern and while we were working, look who decided that the tissue paper made a great resting spot. Or perhaps she felt that a paper weight was needed to hold the tissue in place while we taped the inset in place. Needless to say, we carefully removed her from the pattern piece, to avoid any tears. I'm sure the sunlight streaming in had nothing whatsoever to do with the attraction of the tissue paper pattern, though.


livnletlrn said...

I love that kitty expression, so confident that (s)he's in exactly the right place at the right moment! I guess I'm lucky that my Kodi dog is 80+ lbs and not a jumper because I'd have a whole new set of challenges if she could launch an aerial attack on my blocking-in-progress.

Shirley Goodwin said...

I have read that Knitty article too! But I'm a sock virgin at present, so I'll force myself to actually finish knitting a pair before I try it. Keep up the sock pix!

Shirley in New Zealand where it's spring

maranatha95 said...

Wow, I didn't know that people could knit like that. I thought that the fancy knitting was done only by machines. I've done some knitting, but the fanciest I can do is knit and purl!! Quilting is what I enjoy. And like you, I am also an Awana worker(our program started 2 weeks ago and I have 6 little Cubbies!)