Wednesday, May 17, 2006


I'm such a bad blogger these days. I've fallen so much that I not only have neglected writing, I've neglected photographings stuff, too. Some recent examples:
  • Went to the Lorna's Laces tour organized by the Windy City Knitting Guild. Picked up LOTS of yarn at bargain prices, thoroughly enjoyed the presentation by Beth Casey (current owner), but forgot to bring my camera.
  • Walked through Ryerson Woods with my friend Betsy on an absolutely gorgeous day and spotted lots of lovely spring wildflowers: white and red trillium, mayapple, phlox, rue anemone, and jack-in-the-pulpit. Completely forgot to bring my camera.
  • Enjoying the flowering of my own spring garden, but too lazy to get the camera. Already past their prime are the primula, pasque flower, and black chokeberry shrub. Fading fast is the geranium and wild phlox. Will I pick up the camera in time? OOOO...a cliffhanger!

Well, some photos of the Lorna's Laces fun can be found on Jamie's blog and Dee's blog gallery. And Gail posted a photo Dee took of us all sitting on a cold dock waiting for the doors to open; I'm the fool sitting in the middle with my Clapotis snugly around my neck.

Betsy had her camera and took lots of photos. She promised to upload photos to her Flickr account one of these days, but in the meantime added a couple of these lovely photos to the website of the organization for which she currently works. Photos can be found here (check out the trillium) and here (look at all those mayapples!).

While I haven't had time to do a lot of knitting, I have completed a couple of projects.

A baby blanket for my neighbor's first grandchild. purple baby blanketKnit in Caron Simply Soft in the Grape color, it's eye-popping and soft at the same time. It's a simple knit and purl stitch pattern of hearts that is reversible. Details of purple baby blanket

I also finished another W tank top for myself. This time, I used Rowan Linen Print in color #346, Pip. W tank top

While it looks OK and fits OK, I think the Linen Print is really too heavy. By heavy I'm refering to the actual weight of the garment, not so much it's warmth. Although, since the weather has turned chilly again I won't be able to comment on the warmth factor anytime soon.

I'm also nearly done with #1 sock of the pair I started back in March (!!??!!). This is my first pair of toe-up socks, and it has really turned into a process project. I lost track of the number of times I completely frogged or partially ripped back these socks. I think it's somewhere between 6 and 10 times: I didn't like my first few attempts at a short row toe; I didn't like the fabric over the foot when knit on 2.5 mm needles; I didn't like my first few attempts at a short row heel; I didn't like the gaps at the short row heel join with the rest of the sock, or how tight it was just there when I put the sock on; I didn't like the fabric on the cuff knit on 2.25 mm needles; I forgot to start the pattern stitch on the back of the leg (!!!). I think that covers all the various iterations pretty well.

Need more details? The foot was completed on 2.25 mm needles. Since I've been really into using 2 circulars for socks, I actually ordered two Inox Express circulars just for this purpose. (Addi Turbos are only available in 2.5 mm.) While the Inox Express needles were fine, and I frankly love the Inox gray needles, the join on these 2.25 mm Inox Express needles really sucks. I think for sock #2, I'll stick with my 2.25 mm Crystal Palace DPNs. When I got to the short row heel, I switched to the 2.5 mm Addi Turbo circular needles.

After the heel was complete, I picked up not 1, not 2, but six extra stiches between the foot and the newly turned heel. Not six total, but six stitches on each side. I decreased back down to the original number of stitches over several rounds, then I worked the rest of the foot and the leg in 2.5 mm needles. I now have a sock that is nice and snug through my slightly narrow foot, and not too tight on my legs.

Hey, if I'm going to go to all that trouble of making socks just for me, then they better fit correctly!

I know I mentioned it in a previous post, but the yarn I used for this sock is KnitPicks Dancing. It held up fabulously to all that ripping out and reknitting, so I give it high marks for durability. It's a cotton/wool/nylon/elastic blend, so it's great to wear during the 'tween seasons. Oh, and you can get it on sale for $2.99 a ball right now, so total yarn cost is a low $6 for a pair of socks. Go order some now.

Oh, and be sure to check out my Flickr album, too. I broke down and purchased a professional version so I can store the many digital photos I've saved of my pets, my garden, vacations, and my knitting. I'm still uploading stuff, so be sure to check back occasionally.

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