Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Science of Wool

I have nothing interesting to share- I'm still studying, but I snuck off this weekend to Arizona to see my dad, the grandparents, my brother, and my aunt, and it is much too hot in Arizona to knit much.

However, I started wading through my Bloglines tonight and found this amazing post about the science & chemistry of why blocking works the way it works. Really fascinating stuff.

Go read it!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Embossed Leaves- A Surprise FO!

Pattern: Embossed Leaves, from Interweave Knits Favorite Socks
Yarn: Hazel Knits' Artisan Sock in Beachglass
Needles: Begun on my cantakerous Brittany US 2 dpns, finished on some marvelous Addi Turbo Lace circulars. I love me some magic loop.
Time: Just under a month. Begun before spring break in March, finished before finals in April.

Notes: This is a surprise FO, because as I may have mentioned, finals are right around the corner, and I cannot begin to tell you how unprepared I feel. (I'll give you a hint: REALLY unprepared.)

But, Mike was gone this weekend, visiting a high school friend who was in a pretty serious skateboarding accident, so after a long day of studying, I found myself staying up late, watching The Smartest Guys in the Room, and finishing these socks Saturday night.

I spray-blocked them on my feet Sunday, which was probably not the smartest idea, as we were experiencing a cold snap. Not the best time to be sitting around in wet socks.

The pattern was easy to memorize, which I liked. I changed the heel - the pattern is written for a strange stockinette heel with a garter stitch edge. I knit the first heel that way, then discovered it was super baggy. I ripped it out and knit a nice, tight slipped stitch heel, and all was well.

I really love the star-toe. I love how it finishes off each petal of the final pattern repeat. It does make my toes look a little flat / square, but I can live with that. I've heard people have concerns that a star-toe won't be comfortable to walk on, but I have no complaints so far.

My one complaint with the pattern is how large the leaves are. I was expected a smaller lace pattern, I guess. Also, I found it really hard to hold the three purl stitches between each pattern repeat tight. I ended up with some laddering, and some fairly large holes where the pattern called for a k1,yo,p1. I found it easier just to lift the stitch below on the next round instead.

All in all, some lovely socks.

Back to the books.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

For Me? You Shouldn't Have!

Apologies for the recent absence - life has snuck up on me!

I gave my oral arguments last night, which means the first of my five classes is over for the semester! Now, I have two weeks and two days until my first final (gulp!), so I'm not making any promises for posts, knitting related or otherwise until the middle of May.

However, once the middle of May rolls around, you can expect some very exciting posts, because... we're moving! Into a house! That we'll own (at least partially)!

In celebration, when our offer was accepted a few weeks ago, I bought myself three sweaters worth of yarn from the Webs sale. For less than $5 a skein, I just couldn't help myself!

L to R: Cascade 220 in Blue Teal Heather, Black, and Lemon Yellow, and flowers from Mike!

The Blue Teal Heather is for the Central Park Hoodie, to replace a well-worn cabled hoodie that is rife with pills.

Black is for the Mrs. Darcy Cardigan, to replace a well-worn and mostly fulled black cardigan.

The Lemon Yellow is for the Placed Cable Aran, just for fun!

(Apologies for the Ravelry links, non-ravellers)

Mrs. Darcy will be first, for a Summer Knits Knit-along with my Ravelry group, Knitting Law Students. I admit, it's not very summery, but I'd like to be able to have a nice, handknit cardigan to combat office air-conditioning.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

Star Toe!

I think I'm in love.

The color in this picture is completely off and washed out, because I took it at 9 pm. But look at the beauty of that toe! It's called a "Star Toe." I love how the decreases follow the pattern.

Mom - if you ever knit socks, you should find a pattern with a star toe- it's right up your alley!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Sock progress

I've got two pairs of socks on the needles, both from the book Favorite Socks.

They're not exactly both "on the needles" per se, since I'm using just one circular needle for both socks, but they're both in progress.

I finished the heel flap on the Boot Socks on the plane on the way down to California, then realized I had forgotten to pack another ball of white yarn to finish the foot. Oops!

Luckily, I had packed completely new yarn! Hazel Knits Artisan Sock yarn in "Beachglass." Perfect for vacay in sunny CA.

I'm doing the "Embossed Leaves" socks, and really enjoying it. The pattern just flies by. When I actually work on them, which hasn't really been happening since break ended.

There's also a Hazel Knits knitalong going for these socks, which is a joy. I've never done a knitalong before! It's fun to see other people's yarn choices and hear feed back on the pattern.

We're all in agreement that the heel as written is pretty baggy and not very good. As written, it's a plain stockinette flap with a garter stitch edge. I knit the whole thing, then ripped back and reknit it in a slipped stitch heel with fewer stitches. It looks like it will fit better now, and be stronger.