Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Toes! We have toes…

The necessary inches of knitting for the foot got knit last night on the train
(bad news—Delays; Good news—more time spent knitting!)

For absolutely no reason, Except…
I decided that 6 double decreases would be the order of the day for the toe.

Actually--I decided on a pattern of decreases that had a vague hexagonal shape—to mimic the hexagon paving blocks found about NYC parks (Central Park and the Park at the Mus. of Natural History come to mind, but LOTS of parks have these blocks--after all, these are CITY socks!)

Even working under my Ott (not--an other brand) light, it was hard to see the details of the decrease. (There is a slight hexagonal shape—but not so you’d notice if I didn’t tell you!) At a glance the toe looks like a perfunctory round one.

But I KNOW the special shaping is there.

After the toes were finished, the row of waste yarn was removed, and the heels set up for working—Not something I would want to do on the subway! I tried them on last night, and they feel wonderful—(perhaps a row or two too big) I can always correct at the heel.

Right now the sock yarns in my stash are a cacophony of “Me! Me! Me Next!”—but I think the fair isle tams will be my subway knitting for the end of the year.

The main disadvantage is the need for several balls (of yarn) – if I worked on the tams at home, I wouldn’t bother with bobbins, and just work from the balls—but 5 balls of yarn are bulky—so I’ll make up some bobbins, and manage.

I know there are those of you who are wondering not about the bulk of the wool, but how do you work a chart? Easily actually.

Most fair isle is pretty repetitive… a pattern might only be 4 or 6 stitches and many have symmetry (row 1 and 7 are the same, and so are 2 and 6, and 3 and 5, (row 4 is unique) so learn row 1 (and repeat it later) The knitting itself becomes the chart!

And I tend to learn patterns pretty quick—so once I learn the row 1 pattern, it will be set enough in my mind that I can glance at it, and easily work it again 6 rows later.

I worked the chevron pattern on the Passionate Purple socks free hand that is:I didn’t make or follow a chart, I just worked out the pattern in my head.

Don’t think I am some sort of genius--lots of people (my mother for one!) learn not just the times tables from 1 to 12, but lots of times tables (my mother knew times table from 2 to 25!) It's no harder to learn stitch patterns than times tables

I have been knitting a long time, and right from the start (OK, after 6 months) I started with color work. I guess you can say I really like it—and over the years, I have knit a lot patterns. A good number are, if not committed to memory, well known and require only a hint or two to bring them to full recall. I can do the same with many stitch patterns, too.

Knitters have always done this. The Barbara Walker books every one relies on now are NEW. For the first 1000 years knitting, patterns were learned (and in your head), or read from a knitted sampler—they weren’t in books.

I feel a growing need to knit some hats, too. (I don’t know when, or where I will find the time.. but…hat ideas are growing—and growing, and they are crowding my brain—I need some release!)

PS—I made both the carrot ginger soup (and has some for dinner) and the baked potato soup last night—tonight, when I get home late (from knit night) I can just heat up some soup and settle in for the night!

Onion next, and maybe a bean soup (I love me some navy bean soup!)

PPS—two views—
One of a sunny dawn-gilded Manhattan skyline.

The second, which car/parking space is not like the others?

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