Friday, January 30, 2015

And Now, The Socks are Done

I had some orange sock yarn, not a bright as the orange in the color way, and I had some cherry red, which was a very good match, and I had some purple. There is only smidgen of purple in the colorway, but it blends in nicely.

So I add in some rows of orange, and cherry and purple, and alternated with the brightly colored yarn, and just had enough to finish the toe.. (inches left over!) I ran out of yarn for one toe long before I was finished, but the second sock had more yarn, and in the end it worked out.

What a pain though, all the ends to weave in. Because it is the toe of the sock, I didn't want to carry the orange yarn up 7 rounds.. so each pair of stripes is a pair of ends to weave in. 10 ends alone from the stripes, and the cast on and bind off, plus one more set of ends from when I ran out of yarn. I only had one mini skein of each color, so I was working using inside and out sides of the mini balls, and that just made for trouble.

These aren't favorite socks, but socks are socks. They will be worn. They are loose around ankles on LEGS, but they fit my ankles just fine.

So as the month comes to an end, I have 3 projects completed: a pair of socks, a cowl and a hat.

And I am close to completing the documentation for the hat and cowl—these patterns should be up just as the month draws to a close. A good month!

I am going to knit a swatch first for the booties, and then I will sort through the sock yarn and find some go together scraps for a pairs of mittens. I have a lot of white, and some black, and navy, Miss C has a navy coat with white polka dots, and Miss J has a pretty hot pink coat.

And I have yarn left over from their hoods—which have worked out very well—The girls hated them at first, but now... they wear them with out protest, and never try to pull them off. They now know how to pull them off! These little ones are just too smart for their own good.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

A Hat...

How about that! And what a lovely hat it is!  Started Monday, finished Wednesday.

I've liked this stitch pattern forever, and kept saying to my self, I should knit this up in something, and now in a month, month and a half, or so, I have knit 4 hats, and cowl using this pattern, With each new project, I like the pattern more and more.

Specifically, I like that the pattern is jog-free—Naturally. See photo to the left.  The jog is slightly noticeable at the hem/cast on edge, but no where else.

 I really don't mind jogs, and never make much effort to hide them, but it is nice when a pattern work out to be naturally jog proof. It means those who care are happy, and those who don't are too.

I like how this pattern looks, when done in solids, and when done in polychromes..The hats I have made have been knit flat, (stranded color work) and seamed, knit in the round, and lined, and now, double knit –or warm, warmer and warmest versions, plus a cowl.. A whole lot of ways to use this diamond pattern.

I like this hat so much, I am going to make another--in different colors, but the same pattern.

Tomorrow, I will start a pair of booties for the girls, (maybe with matching Mittens). And if not matching blue mittens, some sort of mittens.. Maybe a red or pink pair of mitten too, for Valentines day. There is plenty of winter left.

Before that, I will rustle up some sock yarn to finish the brightly colored socks that are toe-less for the moment.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Well, Since I Know the Pattern

Why stop now? Why not a matching, well semi matching, hat? I only had 2 skeins of the Blueberry color. I remember having a project in mind when I bought this yarn. I had purchased several colors, with an idea of a stranded color work scarf/ shawl. But that idea faded, and I ended up with a few skeins of of colors (2 blueberry, 1 bayleaf, and 1 cinnamon) and 4 skeins of white. I suppose I could have bought more (do I need more yarn?) but they wouldn't be the same dye lot, and...

I finished the Cowl Sunday, (well I finished the knitting) I still had some ends to weave in when I photographed it yesterday. When I was done, I started the hat. It's fast work because it is so many few stitches—and I can just look at the last row worked, and know what I have to do on the next row to continue. I have abandon the chart!

So last night I got the first 3 inches done. Hats are only 6 or so inches –(before shaping for the crown) so it's not quite half done!

Most often, I can learn a stitch pattern in a few repeats, but this pattern is hard for me. So I am pleased to have gotten to a point where I know it. I always have problems with the kind of patterns that move both left and right—it takes me forever to commit them to memory.

I am using the same wool—Lion Brand's Alpine Wool, White and Bayleaf. (I think this is an icy blue, not the gray green of a Bayleaf—but what does that matter?) There might be another hat after this one--in a lovely warm cinnamon brown and white. Not immediately after, but I have promised some warm hats to friends who have been having a hard time of it this winter. Now that I know the pattern, I might be lazy and just make the same hat, over and over again.

I have other knitting to do, there were weeks back in 2014 where I hardly knit a stitch—but now my fingers want nothing more that to work to the rhythm of knitting.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hot Off the Needle

And just in time for a major nor'easter—a thick warm cowl to snuggle into—should I have to go out!
I am going to do my best to avoid that (going out) for the next 48 hours or so. All stocked up on staples, and its unlikely I will loose power (no above ground power wires to fail)

This cowl is sized to be worn out side of a coat or jacket--but when I write up the pattern, there will be a smaller sized option for wearing inside of your coat or jacket. The large size  can also be worn as a hood --as all cowls, should be able to worn. See image below.

The smaller size will be more of neck warmer--and not really cowl (and not something that can be worn as a hood.) 

3 feet of the white fluffy stuff doesn't bring things to a halt usually in NYC—but it will slow things down for couple of days. Snow falls like this have been career changers for some mayors, and DeBlasio, it trying to get out in front of it. Emphasizing this storm has the potential to break all previous records, and the the Dept of Sanitation has about 6,000 miles of streets to clear.

All of which doesn't matter—Every one wants their street plowed NOW. Manhattan always get priority. There will be reporter from all 3 major networks, out side their corporate offices in Midtown, lauding the great work being done. Showing off clear streets and sidewalks, lauding the great job Sanitation is doing. Meanwhile us folks in Queens will be waiting to see our first plow. We realize that Sanitation is doing a good job—many times our neighbors are those San men... But Queens is the largest (geographically—over 100 square miles) and often the last served borough.

Well enough of local politics! Let me get back to my knitting...

And what lovely knitting is is! Not perfect (but a little blocking will take care of that) 32 inches and 96 stitches almost perfectly grafted—There is s slight change in tension but you have to look for it to see it. The grafted edge is the white edge on this photo, to left.

One big (2 stitches) mistake found—It's only on what was the inside and I have just enough blue yarn to do some duplicate stitches to mend.

I pushed my luck—and finished with about 18 inches of yarn left over—Well 18 inches of the Blue yarn. The White yarn, left me with a yard or two. It's funny how that works out. As I came to the end of the first skeins, I had enough blue yarn to do one quarter of a round. The white yielded enough for a full last round (well 90%--just 6 stitches short of a complete round. The left over bit of white really represents those extra 2 yards or so—One yard or so from each skein.

I measured the yarn needed for a full round as I came closer and closer to the end. A full round required a little less than 3 full yards... Which is just about right—a general rule is: 1 row (or round) requires about 3x's the width of the work. A 32 inch round (almost a full yard) needed almost 3 yards of yarn to complete. You always need to add a bit extra, because the real factor isn't 3, it is PI. The point one four(.14) is needed too.

It's just a general rule, based on the fact that each stitch is made by wrapping the yarn round the needle. But stitches aren't really round (but close to it). I always use 3—and then add a bit extra.. I rounded up to 3 yards for the grafted bind off.. I had enough to work all my grafted stitches, and about 12 inches left over. Not a lot—but anything less would have been worrisome and uncomfortable to work with.

I think I would have needed more for another type of bind off—a standard bind off, (where you knit a stitch, and then pull it over the next knit stitch requires MORE yarn!) I always allow 4 yards for a bind off—I always have some left over—but not much!  Not a full yard, or even a half yard.

This cowl is sized to wear out side of coat, not inside—but the pattern will have a smaller version for inside the coat wear, too.

In the mean while, I have cast on for a matching hat--This will be my third hat using this stitch pattern--One flat, one knit in the round and lined, and now the third, double knit.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Lots of Knitting

Not a lot of progress. Because sandwiched between the knitting was some frogging.

I don't know where I was mentally when I knit the last 2 rounds that finished the set of left leaning diamonds, but it certainly was not any where my knitting. As I started the next round –what I found was error, after error, after compound error—that is, a mistake I made 4 rounds previously, and had just continued! (Looking again at Wednesday's post and I see a half dozen errors alone in the photo!)

I am back on track now.. and the cowl is 9.5 inches long, and I am going for 11. I decided I wanted it long enough to wear as a hood –in which case it needs to be long enough to tuck into a jacket collar in back) or resting on my shoulders, and half covering my face (loosely!)--A double duty bit of knitting.

But I don't want to push it—and run out of yarn, and have to frog back (again!)

I want to finish it up today—and maybe I will.

This morning I made a quick little video on Interlocking Jacquard Double Knitting—which is what this cowl is. I figured it out on my own, (it took a couple of tries) but now days, the video tutorials are the way to go. One picture really  is worth a thousand words!

Thankfully, this winter has been so mild, I haven't needed anything like this. There have been a few cold days, and a few snow days—One is coming tomorrow. But today is above freezing, and the snow will be mixed with rain. And here in NYC, it promises to be a mostly rain event.

Tomorrow will also be the Girls (the twin girls) birthday party.. so I will be out and about. But I have umbrellas galore.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

More Cowl

I could have dug out the big bag of left of sock yarn and found some yarn to finish the toes of the socks. Most often, I find 40 odd grams of sock yarn is plenty enough for a sock, so I have lots of mini skeins. Yet another reason why running out of yarn with the bright socks is so annoying!

I plan to do somethings with this yarn.. something big (a blanket?) and a bunch of small things, including a pair of crazy socks. But I can spare some for sock toes!  Instead, it was easier to work on the cowl.

Blue Diamonds on white
First off, I know I have enough yarn to complete this, and second off, the yarn was already started. And finally, I have just gotten to the point where I once again know the pattern, and can work with out reference to the chart.

White Diamonds on blue
It is not incredible hard, but it is a pattern that requires attention  Besides, the pattern is one for what ever reason, I find hard to remember. There are always some stripes going to the left, and a bunch more going to the right—Until it changes and more are going left, and fewer are going right.

Right now, I have just finished the left leaning stripes, (which is about 1.3 repeat) and the cowl is 8 inches (and bit). I keep trying it on, and I think I want more. I would be pushing it if I tried to do another full repeat, (Since I didn't get a full repeat out of my first 2 skeins of yarn!) and at this point, its is somewhat symmetrical—the pattern started with the beginning of a right leaning diamond, and now its at the end of left leaning diamond. I think I might continue till there is 1.5 repeat—which will be a Right leaning diamond, a left leaning diamond and the another full right leaning diamond.

It is so warm and cozy, but I want it a little taller. I am really loving this cowl. I definitely want to keep this for my self, but I am thinking about making another—to share with a friend who is always cold--maybe just another cowl, (not this stitch pattern).  But I have so many other things to knit--It might be April before I get around to it.

Did I mention I am also writing up the pattern for this? Well I am. I want to have a finished photo, and final row count, but much of the pattern is already to go.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


I have finished the foot of the bright colorful socks, and it's very clear that:
A: there isn't enough yarn to complete the toe
B: The skeins are uneven—so I will have a small amount of  yarn left over (even as I have to add yarn!)

I have some mini skeins of sock yarn in various solids—hot pink, orange, and a dark turquoise blue.. I am not sure which color I will end up using. Maybe some stripes of solids (all 3 colors) and some stripes of the polychrome yarn.

I know I can come up with solutions—and I know I have yarn (left over mini skeins of sock yarns) that will work, but its still annoying.

I hate short skeins. I know its partly do to the yarn weight—sock yarn comes in various weight/sizes, and some yarns, like Patons Kroy yarn does come in very short (as measured by the yard) skeins. It is also a bit heavier (thicker) than average sock yarn. But Kroy is a bargain yarn—It might list for $7 a skein, but with coupons and sales, I rarely pay more than half that per skein (a 50g skein). Even a third skein brings the cost of a pair of sock to about $10. Even the huge socks I knit for my S-I-L--(men'
s size 10 wide)  last fall didn't take a FULL 3 skeins. I have enough left over of the third skein to make a water bottle cover--(Which is exactly what I plan to do with it!)

Hand painted sock yarns are often $10 per 50g skein. $20 worth of sock yarn really should be enough—for a tall or wide pair of socks. I concede, this yarn isn't a likely choice for a pair of men's socks, but then not all women have dainty feet (size 6 or 7, B width). This just reminds me why I don't often splurge on fancy expensive socks yarn—I know I didn't buy this, but likely got it in a swap, but it is disappointing all the same. I have to come up with a fix.  

As for the cowl, I ran out of the first 2 skeins at round 23—and 6 inches of knitting. I will have plenty with skeins 3 and 4 to make a nice tall cowl. 9 or 10 or even 11 inches! This kind of pattern isn't knit in straight lines. It starts midpoint in the left leaning diamonds, and row 1 of the right leaning, and ends mid point in a left leaning set. So a single repeat of the pattern creates 1 full set of diamonds, and 2 half sets.

A bit more than dozen rounds from now, I will have a complete set of left leaning diamonds, (and another half set of right leaning.) That will be close to 7/7.5 inches of knitting—I might stop there... But likely not. I'll likely could continue and have another full set of right leaning.. and end with half a set of left leaning. Where ever I end,  I will always have to end with one set of diamonds half (or partially done.

I'll have to see how it goes. I tried the cowl on last night, and wow, is it warm. I think I could wear this alone on a cold day and still be warm.   

Monday, January 19, 2015

Change Up

My fingers were stiff and getting stiffer.. I needed a break from fine stitches. No problem, there was the cowl I cast on last week.. I was just going to knit a row or two to loosen up my joints..

Well, one row became two—and two became four, and here I am, with 18 rows of a 24 row pattern complete. I have made several hats with this pattern—One knit flat, one in the round, lined for extra warmth, and now a double knit cowl. The previous hats used multi color yarns, paired with a solid, this is the first time I am making this pattern up with 2 solids.

I can't decide which I like better.. I certainly like the crisp lines of solids—but then I like the colors, too. I think I would like this cowl even better in Black and White! (but I didn't have any black—and this is a really nice blue)--and I think it would work well in near matching colors, cream white and almond, or in 2 shades of grey.  I usually like high contrast, but sometimes a subtle pattern can be very nice, too.  Decisive, aren't I?

But then I really like this stitch pattern—It would work well too, in 2 hand painted yarns, or in 2 gradient color yarn. I am working on the blue diamond/white background side, but the white diamond /blue background side is nice, too. So many choices.. solid yarn or not, hi-contrast or low, this side or that—I like them all.

This yarn is Lion Brand Alpine wool, a single ply yarn. Soft and cushy, with a nice hand, too.  It's about 32 inches round, (loose) and about half done...I still have yarn in the skeins—not enough for the 6 remaining rows of the full repeat, likely, but the cowl is already 5 inches tall, 6 more rounds will be another 2 inches—for 7 inches. I think 10 inches or maybe 11 inches will be more than enough--and 14 will be too long.. but I haven't decided yet on exactly how long it will be.

It not so big or bulky that it can't be worn inside a jacket,--but it is loose enough that it could be worn out side of a jacket, and you could pull it up to cover your mouth and nose to protect them from wind and wind blown snow or rain.  So I want it short enough to fit inside and long enough to work outside, too.  

I am going to finish off the fist 2 skeins today, and then head back to the socks, and finish them.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Inching Along

Yesterday, the foot was just short of 4 inches long. Today, fractionally past 6 inches. So the sock is coming along. The foot is perfect, with 60 (not 63/64) as my stitch count. Snug and comfy.

What is interesting is the yarn—and how, as the stitch count changes, the result move from Puddling, to Muddling, to Spiraling. I think the stitch pattern breaks up all three patterns fairly well.. but the underling color patterning is much more evident in the photo's.. (and on the sole of the foot.)

It's fairly easy to see the pink puddles on the leg—and how the puddling pattern changes as the gussets get worked, and the stitch count is constantly changing. Now that the stitch count has stabilized, the spiral is running counter to the stitch pattern, and easily visible if you look for it.

I am rapidly running out of yarn. I have no idea of the yardage in the skeins.   I found an old blog post from Nov '09, about this yarn. NOT Filatora Lanaroto... but some unknown yarn (maybe Cherry Tree Hill?) When did I buy it? Or was it from a swap? I didn't know then, and 5 years later, I am even less sure!

The cakes of yarn are slim—and I wonder if I have enough yarn to finish. They might end up with some simple solid color yarn to finish up the toes.. Or maybe not.. I'll figure out as I get closer to the toes.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

Twenty Rows Later...

Heels have gussets, and the sole of the foot, measuring from the beginning of the heel turn, measure 3.75. Three more inches of foot, and just a little than three  inches for the toe.... Round and round we go, to a finished pair of socks!

The cuffs and leg are very loose on my LEGS, but I have thick peasant bones, and wide feet, and the cuff, while not snug,  isn't at all loose. The foot portion of the sock is 4 stitches (½ inch) narrower, and grips my feet much better.

Here is a better view of the picked up gusset stitches, and the nice tight corner a well picked up plus 1 stitch.  I use Charlenes Schurch's method--make one stitch out of 1/2 stitch on flap and 1/2 stitch on instep. I think this is the best method, (well its the best for me!)

I want these finished and to start some booties for the girls... (and to continue with the cowl that is still sitting at “just started” ) so its off to knit it go!

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Flap?       Finished
Heel?      Turned
Stitches?   Picked up
Gusset?   6 rounds complete.

It's down hill for now, with decreases every other round, whittling stitches away, shaping the last bit of the heel shaping. Its going to take a while to finish the gusset. First off, I started the heel with 32 stitches, and want to end with 30. Second, after the turning, I had 18 stitches, I picked up 16 on each side of the flap +1 more in each corner—so 32 +2 Picked up, +18 =52, and I want end with 30, so that is 22 stitches to decrease, (at the rate of 1 per round). In this detail shot, it's hard to see the plus 1 stitches in the corner of the flap--but it's easy to see--NO hole at the corner.  Look again and you can see that I use 2 garter stitches a selvage on my flap.  I like the look, and I think it makes its easier to pick up all the stitches snugly.  
 I am 6 rounds into the gusset, with 16 more rounds till it is finished. The best part is the round get shorter and short.. 52 stitches one one side/half of the sock is closer to 60 than 30—and it feels it. The instep (still in pattern, and already reduced to 30 stitches) side of the sock is done is seconds, the heel side still feels like it takes forever to knit.

But by the time the gusset is done, I will have 4 or so inches of foot portion done, the toes will be started 2 inches before the end, and this will leave just 3 inches of foot.

This is why I always feel that the foot of the sock goes by so quickly. Yes, the gussets are a bit slow, and I always moan and groan, but every row is easier.. And there is so little to do after the gusset—Then BAM! And the socks are done!

The next time I photograph the socks, they will be on LEGS, looking like socks.

And because, (which is no reason at all) I have started the cowl on my to do list. Just the cast on and join. But it is started all the same. Its a nice break to switch from size 2.5 needles and work on size 8.  I am using Lion Brand Alpine wool, and it is soft and luxurious. I love this yarn! I have a few balls in my stash, and now I am wondering why I don't have more. 

Of course the truth is, I need more yarn about as much as I need to gain weight (Right, like I need to gain weight) To make things worse, next week Smiley's is having a store sale, with sock yarns on sale and some lovely silk and wool blends, and.... I intend to get to this sale... I haven't been to a Smiley's sale in months. So it will be a new years treat.

There internet sale prices are good too, but the $50 minimum makes them less attractive to many knitters. Clearly, Smiley's is a great place to eshop if you are a member of a group. 4 or 5 knitters could easily spend $10 to $12 (and end up with great buys on sock yarn, or beautiful scarves from silk and wool blends.) and make the $50 minimum –There is only one yarn that is $5 a skein (a 50/50 silk wool blend)- Most of the yarns are $2.99 (and many are less).  At those prices, $50 buys a lot of yarn!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Flapping—And Cooking

The heel flaps are half done—16 rows of 32 completed.
The cakes of yarn look very hollow.. I suspect it is just me being anxious.

Mean while...

Do you have a personal spice blend? And if not, why not? I have, over the years, found I use more of some spices than other, and for the past year or two, have been making and 'bottling” my own blend of spice. I kept reading how this spice or that, has magical properties.. That they are natural antibiotic, or anti inflammatory, or full of anti oxidants, and how I should include them in my diet.. (Often at quantities that are just crazy—I like cinnamon, but I am not going to change my diet enough to eat 2 full teaspoons a day of it). But with my own little spice blend, I find my self using and eating more spices. Maybe not a the full therapeutic quanites, but more, all the same.

So I have a few spice blends—one is Italian—with thyme, oregano and basil mix together with dried fire roasted tomatoes and garlic... Nothing out of the ordinary—but good with red sauce, or mixed into fried breadcrumbs—for an oil and vinegar dressing for pasta, or something to use with an olive oil dip, or on a flat bread or with bread sticks. I have a southwestern blend, too, with cilantro, and chilies (a red chili powder, with some dried jalapeno flakes, chipoli flakes, too. Fire roasted garlic, and fire roasted tomatoes, and I add those packets of dried lime juice—All the spices mix together—a quick and easy way to season meat (beef , pork or chicken) or cheese, or dips.

I also have my general purpose spice mix—I use this on eggs (not too much) or with roast vegetables (lots!) or with roast meat--(especially poultry!)

My blend is adapted from several recipes—One recipe was too hot (I reduced the amount of cayenne pepper) and one was too much like a curry blend (I love curry, but I wanted something more general purpose mix—so I tinkered and came up with this.. Spicy and flavorful, but not hot.

My Masala Mix
1 tablespoon each of:
1 teaspoon each
clove—a little less than a full teaspoon
cayenne pepper (more if you like HOT!)
 ½ teaspoon of nutmeg—More if you are a big fan of ketchup.  
The predominant flavor of commercial ketchup is nutmeg—spice up things with this blend,  one with extra nutmeg,  and wean your kids from putting ketchup on everything!

When I make this up, I double the recipe, (2 tablespoons, 2 teaspoons) –Which makes about 1 cup, and for me, is about enough for a month.
The original blend recipe I started with was hotter (more cayenne pepper) and had garlic      powder (I love garlic, but not garlic powder, especially not when it is cooked.)  The original 
recipe didn't have turmeric, or cloves... so I have made lots of tweeks to the original—and 
you can too.  Take my recipe as a starting point, and edit it till its just right for you.

My favorite way to use it is for roast vegetables—Mix up your favorites.. Root vegetables        (carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes (and white potatoes), thick sliced onions, too), Greens like Brussels sprouts, or not quite green, cauliflower, Kohlrabi. Squash—I like winter squash best, but summer squash, works too.  Cooked beans, especially chick peas, are a great addition,   too.  You can use a single vegetable, like sweet potato or carrots, or a  mix—The choices are 

I dice them, not to small, put them into a plastic bag, add some oil (1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, depending on the quantity of vegetables, and then add 1 or more tablespoons of the spice mix. Close the bag to toss them all together, then onto a cookie sheet  and roast for 20 to 30 minutes until tender (a lot depends on how small or large you cut the vegetables), in a 350° oven.  Left over (I never have any!) are good reheated.  Quantities?  Well its up to you!  I sometime make roast mix veggies as a meatless meal (I add pumpkin seeds or sunflower seed, or both) and sometimes I make a double batch.  

You know your family—and know if you need 1 sweet potato—or 3!

This mix (a little bit!) is great for cheese sauce, too.  From a simple macaroni and cheese(in a box) , to a gourmet sauce...And for scrabbled eggs, at breakfast.

Finally this blend is great for seasoning roasted chicken, pork and lamb ---Sea foods too, especially fried seafood.. add some to your tartar sauce!

I find this blend  a great way to increase my consumption of all these spices--(I don't end up taking the total of 2 tablespoons in a week that the miracle sites, (and the medical sites) say are needed for a complete transformation.. but with this blend, I am eating more ginger, and more turmeric, and more cinnamon than I did before I mixed up this blend.. It's a step in the right directions.

Having them as a mixed up ready to use blend,  means I do use them.. And they taste good.. Well, to me they taste good.  You can change up the spices, adding more of this, or less of that, until you get the blend that works for you...

Sunday, January 11, 2015

More Knitting Done

And even more—since the photo was taken.

This pattern (of raised diagonal ridges) is a nice simple one, and I like the way it breaks up the pooling that this yarn tends too. But this is a heavy sock yarn, and these are big socks with 63 inches.

I have worked some more rounds. 

See in the image how one diagonal ridge starts at the upper left, just below the cuff? And how this ridge has moved 3/4th 's of the way across the fabric? 

 Since yesterday PM when I took the photo, till now, the ridge has move all the way across the leg of the sock and it now ends at bottom right. The leg portion is just a bit over 4 inches long—which for me, is a somewhat short leg.

But I am starting the heel now. As I do, I will decrease, and the foot portion of the sock will be worked on 4 fewer stitches This will provide some negative ease--Right now, the sock have almost none.. (another reason for a short leg!) 

It will work out fine, because the diagonal ridges won't be continued on the sole of the sock.

I want to have them finished by mid week (Wednesday) –and get started on some booties for the girls next.

Friday, January 09, 2015

I Used to LOVE Winter

As it slogged on, the lack of sunshine made it depressing, but I really liked the cold weather. Not anymore.. I feel the cold, (and feel cold) all winter now, and when there is a real cold snap, I positively hate winter!

Problem is, I still don't like the heat of summer! I still cross streets (out of my way) to walk on the shady side, and not in direct sun light, and never sit in the sun--(not a good idea anyway with my fair skin and vanity)..

It's like I lost my happy time. Wednesday, a 2 block walk left me chilled to the bone—hot soup, mountains of blankets, and a 2 hour nap were needed to recover. Today is a bit milder, and will find me out and about—running errands and what not... but I will be very bundled up (the temps today promise to hover around 32°/0°--not really that cold (and balmy compared to the sub freezing temps on Wednesday and yesterday!)

I have been down in the dumps—but now I am picking up again—and knitting again.

My plan was to spend this first quarter of the year knitting for me... I made a list—First, Finish not 1, but 2 pairs of socks, then a cowl, and hat for a friend, (She, too, USED to love winter –she looked forward to skiing, and ice skating, and now, she want to buy those small chemical hand warmers that hunters use!)

I make a list and numbered it.. And then totally ignored it.

So on my list (as I first wrote, it, before re-ordering into first, and second, and so on)

A pink shell, (like the green one I knit 2 years ago) worked in sock yarn.
A forest green vest worked in a lovely merino, (with some white trim?) from yarn that Monica shared with me
A set of sweaters for the twins, in the clown barf color way (this yarn also from Monica)
A double knit cowl—I've already written the pattern, I just want to make up a sample.
A hat for Debbie—also double knit for extra warmth
A sweater (in wool/stash) in dark and light turquoise, plus white.
A turquoise sweater coat—this has been on my mental queue for about 4 years now...i have the yarn in my stash.
Several pairs of booties, for the girls, including the blue footed boobies booties..
Mittens for the girls (to match their hood, which are a real success.)
Plus I have been thinking about what to do with my bonus of hand spun....

So what am I knitting? Socks. Not the UFO's but a new pair. Note: new socks are not on my list!
The socks are a pretty yarn and simple stitch, (a spiral rib of a sort) I have an inch knit. I forget the name of this pattern—its about 7 years old, from Knitty—and a nice simple pattern for this busy yarn-- P2, K6, repeat... next round, offset K1, P2, K5, and then each round after offset again (k2, P2, K4-- and so on. The original pattern called for 64 stitches, but a smart knitter pointed out, if you decrease 1 in the first round, the spirals work better. So I am working the 63 stitch version.

This yarn is Filatura Lanarota “Fashion Toes”, Filatura Lanarota is a 'code name' for Plymouth yarns—and Fashion Toes =Happy Feet. The Lanarota brand is for discontinued colors, or over stocks, what ever. (This colorway seems to be discontinued) My LYS stocks this yarn, and I bought it on sale for $2.99—a can't beat price for this lovely yarn--(there is a sale again, next week, I am planning to pick up some more-I have made scarves and other items with this yarn—and love it. The “normal prices” at my LYS is $3.99—a great price for 50g's of 90% wool/10%nylon sock yarn but at $2.99 it is a super bargain! $30 worth would be enough for a very nice top--(but I don't think I will be buying that much!)

After these, some mittens and booties, and then I don't know—maybe the shell in pink sock yarn (Lion Brand's Sock Ease) and a vest or two—and.... then I will hit the summer slump, and spend days at the pool and not get much knitting done at all!

But before then, I hope to get some new videos made. I have added some links, and better organized my web page, but I do need new videos, too.