Saturday, 22 January 2011

Winter wonderland

When the temperatures drop, and the snow starts to fly, that is a special time - knitters settle in, with balls of lovely, soft and colourful yarn, and create magic by clicking their sticks. Most years, by today, I am well on my way, and have usually got several things to show for the many cold evenings spent indoors.

This year, however, we haven't seen much winter - our temperatures in Nova Scotia have often been above the freezing point, and we've had more snow than rain. Global warming is ruining the knitter in me - and messing up the Winter Wonderland mentality that I usually have that spurs on the knitting production during the long, dark winter months.

Since making these, I really haven't had many "wins" - I started my January Self Imposed Sock Club socks (Monkey by Cookie A is the pattern, in Beach colourway with Estelle's Arequipa Yarn) ... the pattern looked great in the yarn, and as I clicked away, I kept wondering why I had never knit with this lovely mohair/merino sock yarn ... spoingy, soft and excellent fabric for the Monkey pattern. I made it to the heel turn within 3 evenings, and when I started to count to separate the heel stitches to make the heel (and patting myself on the back for my speed), I realized an important thing --- despite being able to tie my own shoes, as well as being able to walk and chew gum simultaneously, I can not count. Mysteriously, one needle of the 4 holding stitches had magically sprouted 4 additional stitches, since about a half inch into the cable pattern. HMMMMM ... they got put in time out for a while - nearly three weeks to be exact, and last night I decided to try to "fix" them.
Fixed ;)

Damn skinny yarn and poor lighting! I am thinking that the Monkey Socks will become the February Flying Monkeys in my SISC, and I have determined that a pair that has been a hibernating WIP will resurface and become my January installment of the club (hey, it's my club, I make the rules!). After recovering from falling into the frog pond, I went rummaging, and found these ...

Spiral socks in Kroy Jacquards in the Mulberry Stripe colourway, with just one leg completed, and the ribbing and one repeat of the spiral pattern of the second sock done. Perfect, and I envisioned finished socks by the end of the month :), which means another pair of Christmas gift socks completed!

I picked them up, figured out where I was in the pattern, and began knitting away. After one repeat of the 6-row pattern, I compared my tension to the other sock ... not bad, but a bit loose on the lacy bits. For the next 6 rows, I focused on tightening the tension to match the first sock. Check? Nope - not even close. I thought, maybe I had slipped the slip stitch as if to knit on the first stitch, and with the second sock, I was slipping as if to purl - was that the gauge issue? rip, rip out the evening's work, and start again, slipping as if to knit. the 6 row check revealed I was still loose, but being in denial, I figured I wasn't tugging tight enough, and committed to another 6 rows ... check? Nope, no success.
(not sure if you can see or not, but the longer sock has barely any noticeable holes, and the second sock has smokin' huge holes! OMG - as I am typing this, I realized, I think, what I did wrong! I think that when I started them originally, I had just taken the Lucy Neatby class, and had learned about knitting into the back of a YO to make a tighter,less messy hole ... I bet that's why the first sock is so tight! Looks like when I am done blogging today, I will be ripping again! If I hadn't blogged this, I probably never would have figured it out! Yay, Blogging!)

It has been hard to have knitting mojo, as I inferred earlier, due to the mild weather. we've had a few cold days, and a spatter of snow now and then, but it is gone by the next day. There have been evenings where I haven't even picked up my sticks.

I feel terrible about that, because Santa Claus was good to me this year, and I got some NICE sticks ...

and all the sizes of sock blockers that Knit Picks has (I am wondering if Santa is hoping for more wool socks?).

And yes ... that is a new pair of socks. for all my lamenting over not having any FOs , I did finish those about a week ago. The yarn is Kroy, in a colour i can't remember right now, and am too lazy to flick over to the ravelry project page. They are a plain vanilla, knit with 2.75 mm needles. And are a Christmas 2011 present :)

I also was lucky enough to get some yarn that I had in my Knitpicks cart (sneaky Santa!). I don't remember what I had in mind for this yarn, as the Gold isn't a colour I'd usually choose (the Pumpkin is right up my alley though), but I am sure it has a destiny, just waiting to be revealed :)

Even my dad got in on the "She's a Knitter, I wonder if she might like yarn?" kick, and bought me two skeins of Briggs and Little Heritage in Heather brown, and Mulberry. The picture doesn't do the colours justice, as the brown is much richer, and the Mulberry is less bright and just gorgeous!

I scored pretty big on stash enhancement and tool development this year!;)

Now I am sitting around, not knitting, trying to think what I should take on holiday trip next week ... definitely sock knitting for on the plane (the Flying Monkeys, for sure, and possibly the Spiral Stripes socks, if they aren't done by then) and maybe a plain vanilla pair for if I can't focus on remembering which row I am on(I just have to narrow down what colour self striping to take). I usually don't get much knitting done while on holiday, but the time on the plane and at the airport usually results in a lot of progress!


lexa said...

Holiday?!? Going hot and sunny again? Have fun! And remember -- we'll need some pictures when you get back. (I never get to go anywhere and live through other people's trips, lol. Sad, I know.)

Marti said...

Santa was very good to you this year ;)