Knitting by Judy @ 6:56 PM

Moose Creek toes

The light was good this morning so I made an attempt to photograph the Moose Creek socks. This was as good as I could get. The colors in this are too light. It’s really a rich, dark blend of chocolates and purples, with a very dark teal and some golds. But it has to be this light to even attempt to show the lace.

The lace pattern I’ve chosen is Hourglass Eyelet from Barbara Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns (the first one). It’s a fairly simple pattern with a 6-stitch/8-row repeat (actually 4 rows, but two of them are repeated multiple times). This book has only written pattern instructions. I charted this pattern and modified it to work it in the round vs. flat.

Lace, of course, needs to be blocked in order to be shown to it’s fullest advantage. I tried stretching the toes on my sock blockers, but I couldn’t get enough length to really stretch the pattern out. I’m not sure what it will look like on my foot — maybe it will be bumpy and honeycomb-ish. It’s very springy on the needles.

hourglass eyelet pattern

Barbara Walker asserts that the back side of this pattern reminds her of baby elephants. I’m not seeing it. But I may take a picture when I get a little further along and see what y’all think.

TutleyMutley knit the Snake River Socks and found a few… dare we say it… challenging places where the pattern didn’t quite match the actual finished product. Oops.

Since she has kindly shared what she found, I felt it only fair to update the pattern and remove the errata. If you downloaded the pattern before today, please download a new copy so that you have the latest version.

Or, you could just fake it. I’m not opposed to that, either.

Tomorrow I take off for the Oregon coast for several days of fun and knitting with Cat Bordhi. I can’t wait! Keep the home fires burning and I will return.

Sea-camo-weedy Socks
I finished the Sea-Camo-Weedy socks last night. In the end, I did not frog out the foot and start over again. Usually I’m a stickler for fixing knitting boo-boos. But this time I decided that it just didn’t matter that much. There’s so much going on with the colors that the only part of the stitch pattern that’s really visible is the wavy rib — and that I did OK. The purl stitches get lost in the shuffle.

I actually decided that I like the way it looks because the mistake-stitch seaweed on the foot has a shorter period in its wave because the purl sections are closer together as they move from right to left and back. The shorter wave fits in nicely with the whole foot-vs-leg thing. The stripes are narrower, the waves are shorter. Yeah.

Gentle reader, what are the chance that anyone would buy a story that I meant it to come out that way?

I didn’t think so.

But here is yet another reason to knit both of your socks at the same time, whether you do it from the top or the toe: You make the same mistakes in each. I would have hated to have had to try to recreate my goofs. Of course they are not consistent from one goofy pattern repeat to the next. Each repeat is unique unto itself. Until the ankle, where I actually did it right.

So here they are, posing amongst my cherry trees, in bloom right now. There was just enough good light this morning in to get this picture before the gloom descended. As I type this they are on my feet and they fit perfectly.

The particulars:

  • Yarn: Blue Moon Socks That Rock – medium ( 100% Superwash Merino/ 380yds/5.5 oz per skein) in colorway Monsoon. This was the first Rockin’ Sock Club skein of the year. I had some left over. I understand that others didn’t. I did not knit the pattern. Sometimes I don’t follow directions well.
  • Needles: Knitpicks Classic circulars, US#1 (2.5mm), and then Addi Lace circulars, US#1 (2.5mm) — vastly prefer the Addis. They rock.
  • Pattern: my own standard sock pattern. The stitch pattern is called Seaweed in Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.
  • Techniques used:
    • Knit toe-up, two at a time, on double circulars.
    • I used the Magic Cast On.
    • The heel flap is worked in heel stitch with garter borders.

doesn’t it look like snow?

Speaking of trees blooming, when I left Tangle on Saturday it was windy and the blossoms were blowing off of the tree. It was almost like driving through a blizzard of pink snow. It was really lovely.

I tried to get a picture, but I’m not sure if I captured how beautiful it was. Today, of course, it is raining and gloomy. Be sure to click on the pic to get the bigger version, where it’s easier to see the blossom-snow.

Some Mountain Colors Bearfoot in colorway Moose Creek started yelling at me from the stash, demanding to be knit into socks. Right now. Preferably lace socks. And it will need to be a strong lace to handle the deep, dark, rich colors in the yarn. I can tell already this will be hard to get a good photo of.

I try not to argue with my yarn. But I can’t believe it’s already almost April and I’ve only finished three projects this year — all socks. So much for my resolution.

Knitting |Reviews by Judy @ 2:14 PM

Next week I’m attending Cat Bordhi’s 3rd Annual Magical Moebius Festival – “Footsteps Along the Moebius Path ” – an ocean side knitting adventure! To say that I’m excited by this is a gross understatement. We will not only be bending geometry with the wonderful moebius, Cat will also be introducing new amazing sock geometry magic. And, I understand, the room we will be meeting in features a whole wall of windows looking out on the (probably stormy) Pacific.

Cat Bordhi. Socks. Ocean waves. Need I say more? I can’t wait!

A couple of days ago I stopped by the website of ColorSong Yarn to make sure that I had the right time/date info. Of course they sent a wonderful packet with all that info in it. Of course it was at home and I was not. So I stopped by their website, and there I saw it:

They have Addi Lace needles. In stock. Right now. I’ve knit with these needles, gentle reader, and they are amazing.

I called Nancy to ask if there would be any needles available at the workshop. Nancy assured me that there would be.

You know, Nancy offered. You don’t live that far away. If I drop some in the mail to tomorrow, you’d have them the day after.

What’s a girl to do?

I bought needles. I showed what I believe is admirable restraint by buying only two US#1 24″ circs. And I have them. And my socks are on them.

Addi Lace, Addi Turbo, Knit Picks, Inox Gray join comparisons

Addi really got it right this time. These needles are awesome.

Here you can see the tips. Top to bottom: Addi Lace, Addi Turbo, Knit Picks and my trusty and still-loved Inox Grays.

My take on it:

  • Tips:
    • Lace: The clear winner in this category. Sharper than Turbos, not as sharp as Knit Picks. These points get into tight places without drawing blood. The thinnest part of the tip is slightly elongated before swooping up to the body of the needle, giving almost the illusion that the points are convex. Although the tips are shorter than the Knit Picks or Inox tips, the longer point helps the needle get into multiple stitches easily without a lot of splittage. starstarstarstarstar
    • Turbo: OK for larger, bulkier knits without complex patterns. Just too for blunt lace, complex patterns like cables or small items like socks. starstar
    • Knit Picks: Lethal weapons. These are not the needles to use if you like to help your needle along with a finger on the point. Ouch. I like the sharpness for knitting socks and lace, but I did have to get use to it. They are so sharp that splitting can be a problem. starstarstar
    • Inox: Variable. The pairs I have are just about right. But the quality is not consistent. To find the just right needles, I had to dig around through a lot of other ones that ranged all the way from points I could pierce my ears with to Turbo bluntness. Not the needles to buy online. (For some reason I just could not get a clear picture of this needle.) starstarstarstar when good starstar when not good

Addi Lace, Addi Turbo, Knit Picks, Inox Gray point comparison

  • Joins:
    • Lace: The clear winner here, too. The joins are absolutely smooth. Interestingly enough, the joins are not exactly round. On two sides there is an almost imperceptible flair from the cable up to the needle. By opening the stitch slightly, this promotes a smooth transition from cable to needle. Love it, love it, love it. starstarstarstar
    • Turbo: Very smooth joins. Nothing to complain about here at all. starstarstar
    • Knit Picks: Also smooth joins. Slightly rougher than the Lace needles, but not anything that’s an issue. Variable quality — I’ve had good luck with mine and by all reports Knit Picks is happy to replace any that aren’t up to standard. starstarstar
    • Inox: I like the little knobby thing on the cable at the join. I’ve never had a stitch stick on it. Like the slight flair on the Lace cables, the little bump helps to open the stitch so it slides onto the needle. starstarstar
  • Cables:
    • Lace: Very nice cables. Thinner than the Turbo cables, slightly thicker than the Knit Picks cables, and a really lovely transparent red color. Very flexible and do not appear to be subject to any kinking. No steaming or the ilk necessary. starstarstar
    • Turbo: Thicker than the Lace needles, but very flexible and kink-less. My favorite cable before I met Knit Picks. starstarstar
    • Knit Picks: The winner in this category. I just love these cables. To me they feel even softer and more flexible than the Lace cables. starstarstarstar
    • Inox: Plastic. Stiff. Kinky. Need steaming. What I don’t love about Inox. star
  • Knitting speed and feel:
    • Lace: Oh, I want to love these needles so much! The feel is slightly stickier than turbos, not as sticky as bamboo or other wood. The yarn glides over the needles very nicely without hanging up or dragging. I’m not the fastest knitter in the world and there is no appreciable slowing of my speed. Very quiet. The needle size is helpfully printed on the cable. That’s such a nice touch! My only beef: To me the feel when the needles touch reminds me of the old, old, old metal needles I knit with 35 years ago. It’s almost like finger nails on a chalk board. (To you youngsters that know only white boards — that is not a pleasant sound). I’m not sure yet if this will end up being a deal breaker. I love everything else about them so much that I’m willing to work with them for awhile and see if I can become inured. starstarstar1/2 star
    • Turbo: Very fast. Too fast sometimes for intricate lace or very slippery yarns. Also have the needle size printed on the cable. starstarstar
    • Knit Picks: I like the way these knit. Fast, but not too fast. Quality, though, is variable. Size is not revealed anywhere, so carry your sizer with you. starstar
    • Inox: The winner. I like the teflon coating. Like the Lace needles, the Inox are smooth without being too slippery. I like the bend in the needle — it fits my hand well. (This is purely subjective as other knitters hate it.) Inox thoughtfully stamps the size on the needle, down near the join. starstarstarstar

The overall winner: Definitely the Turbo Lace. Marvelous, wonderful, amazing needles. Except the sound. Stay tuned on that score.

In the comments, Maia helpfully opines (and ~Kristie agrees):

The only thing I notice since you rebuilt is that there isn’t a spell check in the comments section. I thought that was such a lovely gift to the spelling impaired

I know! Believe me I am spelling impaired as well and I miss it too. Unfortunately the spell check plugin I was using does not work with this version of WordPress and it doesn’t appear that the author is going to modify it to work. 😥 I am searching for an alternative. All of the ones that I’ve tried so far have not successfully worked with comments. But I will keep looking! Until then all I can suggest is to use Firefox for your browser. It includes a built-in spell checker.

Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 2:43 PM
tags: , ,

I lost my car last night.

I had been away for awhile. And when I returned, I couldn’t remember where I parked. Not was it section A row 11 or section W row 20? But Did I leave it at the airport or was it somewhere else? West side? East side? I couldn’t remember. I felt totally flummoxed and a bit panicked.

I love my car! My car’s name is Jane, and Jane and I have a very good relationship. How could I be such a careless car-mom? Jane… where are you?

I got on the Max (our light rail system) because maybe Jane was at the park-n-ride. I headed west on Max.

Then I had a brilliant idea: I would call #1 Son because he surly knew where Jane was! I felt that I needed to get off the train before calling. I got off at the zoo station.

The zoo Max station is 260 feet underground. It’s the deepest transit station in North America. For some reason it didn’t occur to me that it might not be the best place to get cell phone reception.

Sure enough — no bars.

I needed to surface in order to use my phone. There are elevators for that purpose. I started looking for them. I couldn’t find the freaking elevators anywhere! Where were they? I kept wandering around and around and around. Finally I walked through a large opening and found myself in… a mall.

Wait a minute… a mall? Underground at the zoo station? 260 feet under the ground? A whole mall? A mall that I didn’t know about?

That’s when I woke up enough to realize that Jane was probably in the garage, parked right where I left it. But the dream had been so vivid that I actually got up and looked. It was there. Whew.

Seaweed sock progress — oops!

Here is the progress on the sea-camo-weedy socks.

Remember how I told you last time, gentle reader, that I had messed up the pattern on the gusset and so I frogged out the whole, entire gusset and started them over again?

In reality, I realized last night that I had messed up the pattern somewhere down by the toe and had been happily following my own version of it ever since.

You can see how the seaweed sort of wobbles in the middle, instead of waving gracefully to and fro like seaweed is wont to do. This seaweed look rather like a large whale came through and thrashed it about.

Seaweed - inside

It’s even more obvious from the wrong side. You can see how the pattern on the right is made up of nice diagonal areas of purls and knits all marching together up the sock, while the pattern of the left is sort of haphazard triangles thrown hither and yon.

We are not amused.

Last night I pondered whether I should rip back to the toe or just go my own way. I decided to leave well enough alone for the following reasons:

  • Nobody has any business looking at the inside of my sock.
  • The foot is going to be inside my shoe. See the first point.
  • I can go back to the right pattern now, at the gussets, and make the leg all OK.
  • It’s not that obvious unless you look really closely at the sock. See the first point.

It will probably bug me. For awhile. Hopefully I’ll get used to it.

What would you have done?

Knitting by Judy @ 5:25 PM

OK. Contest is over. Winners in a bit. Thank you so much to everyone who commented. You, gentle readers, are so clever!

But first, let me update you on my progress with the lovely sea-camo-weedy socks.

I was knitting at Tangle yesterday. Knitting away on my socks. I was just about ready to turn the heels. There were maybe 3 gusset rows left to go.

I looked down on my sock and I saw it…

There, at the beginning of the gusset, I’d totally messed up the stitch pattern. Yes, it was obvious – now, that I was actually looking at it. No, I couldn’t live with it. In disgust I frogged back to where the seaweed started growing wrongly, and began to reknit the gussets. To my former sock student who was present, I can only say do as I say and not as I do. The other fellow knitster there, V, offered I was told once that you should always check each row right after you knit it.

Yeah… we all do that, don’t we? 🙄

I am knitting away at the gussets again. I can knit along at a fair clip, but my knitting will never win a speed contest. The good news is that I’m still loving these socks. Although the colors have pooled somewhat on the gussets, it still looks all sea-camo-weedy and cool and I can’t wait to see what they do on the ankles.

OK… winners drum roll please

First Prize goes to KT. She was the only one to correctly identify the country of origin of all those new visitors last week: China. I have to admit that the though of my socks running a little underground resistance movement against sock abuse does tickle me.

Whoddathunkit that so many Chinese knitters would all of a sudden want to learn the Magic Cast-on? I wonder how well that page translates?

For second and third prize, I had a terrible time choosing between all of the wonderful comments. Y’all had me laughing hysterically at my socks gallivanting around the world on their many adventures! Next time they go anyplace, I think they’d better take me with them!

I used a random number generator to choose second and third prize, because I just couldn’t pick myself. And the winners were drum roll again, please:

Second prize: Jen, who found my socks visiting Greenland, where all of the socks that get lost in the wash go.

Third prize: yarnyenta. She can’t say where my sock were, for their own protection.

I will be contacting the winners shortly!

Thanks again for playing along, and knit on!

Knitting by Judy @ 9:12 PM

are these yours?

I had quite a discussion with my socks. I asked them where the heck they’d been and what they were doing hiding under my unmentionables.

They were silent and have crept to their place in the sock drawer, where they are sulking.

I do hope that I’m not going to find a swarm of little baby anklets in that drawer any time soon.

On Monday, the very day that the socks returned, PI had a huge spike in visitors that doubled the average (yeah, yeah… 20 instead of 10 🙄 ). All of the new visitors came from one country. I wonder where that sock has been…

OK. It’s not spring yet and there are no holidays coming up (at least in the USA) and I think it’s time for a contest. The picture is of three skeins of yarn that I am offering as prizes. From top to bottom, they are:

  • Socks That Rock in a no-longer available colorway: Kryptonite
  • Mountain colors Weavers Wool Quarters (this is the 100% wool yarn) in colorway Mountain Twilight.
  • A Fleece Artist Merino Sock Kit that comes with a sock pattern on the label. It’s a little vague about the colorway, but it’s a very nice mix of green, blue, pink and gold.

Contest rules:

Leave a comment on this post with:
1) The country you think the Monday visitors came from.
2) What you think my socks were doing in that country. (tie breaker)

If more than three people guess the correct country, the explanation that I find most amusing will determine the winners. Yes, this will be purely subjective.

If less than three people guess the correct country, those who do will win the top prizes and I’ll pick the remaining winners from amongst the best explanations of sock travel.

If nobody gets the country right, winners will be determined solely by which explanations most tickled me.

Winner #1 can choose which skein he/she wants, Winner #2 can pick from the remaining two skeins, and Winner #3 gets the remaining skein.

Contest ends… midnight on this coming Saturday, 03/17. I’ll contact the winners some time in the following week, depending on how crazy my life is. 😆

I’ll give y’all one little hint: You can look at the little clustermaps thingy in the right-hand sidebar, gentle reader, but it won’t help you any.

Have fun. Let’s bring a little joy to our lives.

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