Sunday, March 16, 2014

Double screen computers

It's been a couple weeks of knitting intensity over here, my lovelies.  I've plowed through the Polar Bear Chullo (I finished it yesterday and it's mostly dry from the blocking it received), I started a new portable sock project, and last night I started work on reindeer leg warmers.  Wanna see?

Fuzzyhead is modeling the hat, but it's a gift for Slim Jim (stop reading now, Slim, otherwise you're spoiling your birfday surprise).  I'm really pleased with how it turned out, the patterned sections are all slightly different and they look really nice and smooth.  The polar bears are adorable, but it was tricky to maintain even tension over those areas, and they're the ones that turned out a little wonky.  Blocking helped a bit, but they're still not perfect.  Oh well.  I know I much prefer colourwork projects with nice even sections of colour, where I don't have to twist the colours every few stitches. 

But, despite knowing that, I've picked up another colourwork project where the floats are not all perfectly nice and even.  Enter the reindeer socks, which I am knitting as leg warmers.

To get them a little larger and slouchier, I am knitting them with fingering weight yarn (Knit Picks Palette in Cream and Hollyberry) and using 2.75mm needles.  The needle size choice was mostly because both of my 2.25mm sets are currently in use (hexipuff blanket and my latest sock project), and my 2.5mm are being used for my one row at a time socks.  I think I might need another pair of 2.25mm needles, but for now I am actually pleased with the size and tension the 2.75s are giving me.  It's nice a loose, with lots of stretch for pulling up over ankles and calves. 

As I was working on the polar bear hat with a side of hexipuffs, I realized I was lacking a portable simple project to take to knit nights.  There were too many colours and colour changing, and too much chart-following with the polar bear hat to make it a good talk-while-you-knit project, and the hexipuffs are fiddley and require that I travel with a small handful of stuffing in my knitting bag.  I also recently found out that Slim Jim's boyfriend, Stash, would love and cherish a pair of hand knitted socks.  Huh.  I had no idea.  I think every knitter needs her/his friends and family to proclaim their interest in receiving knitted items.  I would never knit something for anyone if I wasn't sure they would love it and appreciate it, but if you don't speak up, how do I know?  So I dug through my sock yarn bin and pulled out this little beauty from my original Rhinebeck trip in 2012.

This is Sock82Me in Bronze.  Slim Jim told me Stash would appreciate any sock-type item in a brown colour since that is the colour he wears most often. 

The pattern I chose is a simple boy-approved pattern called It's a Guy Thing, and I started the socks some time two weeks ago, in time to bring them out to a knit night.

The socks can be made in pretty much any size, from itty bitty kid size to XL adult man.  The pattern is simple and easy to remember, but more interesting than straight stockinette or basic ribbing.  The seed stitch panels are separated by thin two-stitch cables, which are done in a different way from how I've ever done cables before.  Instead of doing the cables with a cable needle, or even doing the cable motion without the needle itself, these cables are formed by knitting the two stitches together, and then knitting the left stitch again before dropping both stitches off the needle.  It looks just like I did traditional cables, but it's a little more seamless in the knitting process than stopping to move stitches around for cables.  Neat.

I've also hammered out some rows on the One Row a Day socks today while scrolling through pinterest and watching my stories.

Here's the March 5 update I should have done on March 5:

And the March 12 update:

And don't forget, I've still got yarn floating around from the Knit Picks order for a pair of Nordic mittens, and I have yarn from my Rhinebeck trip in October for a shawl.  I may need to pick up a large project to keep on the go, but for now I'm pleased to have something colourwork-y and something super simple.



Saturday, March 1, 2014

In like a lamby lion

 I've picked up work on the Polar Bear Chullo again, my darlings, and I'm quite pleased with the progress.  When I last touched the hat, I was getting concerned that it was slightly too big for a normal-sized head (specifically, the head of a Slim Jim).  I didn't pick up the project for a good month as I stewed and thought about whether I should keep trucking or rip it back and start again.  Since this hat has LOTS of colourwork, and I change at least one of the colours every other row, I wasn't interested in pulling it apart and having a million little cut strands of yarn to sort out.  Instead, I took the lazy knitter's route and dropped my needle size down to 2.0mm from 2.25mm about an inch into the brim of the hat.  I also know that there are decreases coming up soon, and any extra floppiness about the bottom edge will be a fun design feature I included, and the hat should still stay on her head without any trouble.

Here's where I am as of this morning.  I did everything from the top row of the centre purple pieces (about where the top of the purple cable from my needle sits) yesterday, and that's where I made the needle size change.  I barely notice it, so Slim Jim surely won't, and a good blocking will cure what ails me.

I especially love that I'm on the polar bears now.  Look at those little polar bear feet!!

And it most definitely fits as a hat, although my head is abnormally large and it's still on the needles.  I know I look silly.

The one row per day socks are proving to be a bit of a chore.  Every time in the last month when I thought of what I could knit, my thoughts went like this: "I could work on the polar bear hat?  No, I'm afraid I have to rip that baby apart.  What about hexipuffs?  Naw, I'm getting a little bored of those right now, I've been picking up that project every day as my go-to for the last few weeks.  I should start a new project, I don't feel like I have enough variety in my current projects.  OH WAIT!  I have those socks I'm supposed to be working on."  Every time.

They're not hard, they're not tricky, they're not too easy.  I enjoy knitting them just fine, but it's the "you can only do one row per day" part that is tripping me up.  Every time I think about working on it, I know I'll just be packing it away in a few minutes and having to pick up another project.  I find myself leaving it to the end of my week (Wednesday was my start day, so my goal is to always have the week's worth of required knitting done by Wednesday) to crank out all 7 rows.  I like this system a lot better.

Despite all that, I still forced myself to catch up yesterday, and here are the missing recaps from February:

February 12:

February 19:

February 26:

And I went ahead and caught myself to the exact day I should be on, which also conveniently took me to the end of the month so I could place another marker:

What's up, March!