In The Garden |Knitting by Judy @ 11:26 AM

wisteria
wisteria

And I say it’s all right.

Gentle reader, I promise not to foist too many gratuitous garden pictures on you. But I had to show you my wisteria. It’s on a trellis right outside my bedroom window. This morning I woke to wisteria-perfume wafting through my open window on a gentle breeze.

That and a 16 lb cat demanding breakfast.

After the long, cold, dreary, dark winter, the sun is so glorious! I don’t even mind that it was almost 100 F yesterday. (I think that’s around 37 C.) I’m usually not a heat lover, but, oh man bring it on! I’m finally warm! Today is supposed to be a bit cooler, and tomorrow absolutely perfect.

Then we go back to rain. Probably until after July 4th because I remember only rare years when I didn’t freeze to death watching the fireworks.

I’m really hoping for a decent autumn this year, though. September is usually our best month, with long balmy days and cool (but not freezing) nights. The good weather lasts most years almost to Halloween. September is so good that almost every year there is talk of shifting the school year to leave September free. I love it also because the nice warm days let my grapes ripen. They are a late-season crop in my yard, and they need the sun. Last year it rained all September and October and my grapes mildewed before they could get ripe. I was bitterly disappointed – as were my neighbors, colleagues at work, and friends, all of whom usually share the bounty. Because of the cold spring, the grapes have been slow to take off, but they are making up for it. A week ago they were leafless. Today there are flower bud sprays all over the vines.

monkeys without borders
monkeys without borders

As I mentioned, I did get a bit of knitting time in this week.

As you can see, I am up to the ankles on the toe-up monkeys that I’m knitting with the special STR colorway: Knitters Without Borders.

I’m loving the way that this yarn is knitting up. There is a very definite white stripe, but it’s narrow. I did end up with a splooch of white during the gusset increases. On this sock it’s underneath the foot, but on the companion sock it’s smack-dab on top. Oh well. Adds interest.

I tried something new on these socks, too. New for me, at any rate. I knit my standard heel. But as soon as I started the gusset increases, I also started knitting heel stitch on the sole. After having blown out the bottoms of my two favorite pairs of socks, and having several other pairs that are looking a wee bit thin, I decided to see if a little reinforcement would help. You can just see the rows of heel stitch marching up to the heel turn.

Those of you who have knit one of my free patterns (links to the right, or under the Freebies button up top) know that my heel is a bit different from most toe-up flap-and-gusset heels. I have a narrow heel, and I totally suck at am challenged by the wrap-and-turn method of doing short rows. So my standard heel is turned over 1/4 of the total stitches. Instead of doing a wrap/turn, I do M1/turn or turn/M1. The increases serve two purposes: they fill in the gaps left by the short rows, and they increase the number of stitches from the 1/4 of the total that I started with to the 1/2 of the total that is needed for the heel flap. The end result is a cozy turn that hugs my heel and doesn’t slip or bag.

monkey heel
monkey heel

But it’s also not conducive to having any sort of pattern on the sole that would require matching up with a pattern on the flap. So I usually start the flap pattern (most likely heel stitch or eye of partridge, with or without a garter border) at the same time as I start the turn. But I already had the pattern established on the sole before I got to the turn. Eek!

Yes, I know that nobody is going to look at the bottom of my heels except me. Me and whatever knitters (you know who you are) who grab the in-progress socks from my hands in order to inspect them.

I solved the matchy-matchy problem by fudging a bit where I actually did the increases. The established pattern was Sl 1, K1, Sl 1, K1, Sl 1, K1, etc. I increased through the turn so that the end result was Sl 1, M1, K1, M1, Sl 1, M1, K1, M1, etc. When I finished the turn and knit across the short rows to start the flap, I went back to: Sl 1, K1, Sl 1, K1, Sl1, K1, etc. So the original Sl1 remained Sl1. The original K1 became a Sl1. And the M1 became the K1. I had to cable a couple of stitches around to make the count come out right, and that’s how the final new Sl 1 ended up right in the middle. It doesn’t look too bad, if I do say so myself. (The sole is to the left in the pic and the flap is to the right.)

And now I must be off. I have annoying things, like bill paying, that must be done. Plus I have some real work I must attend to this weekend. I so enjoy our chats together that I didn’t want to miss out sharing with you. But now I must do other things.

So I think I’ll drive over to Woodland Woolworks. The day is just too pretty to waste.



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