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"Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while,
then take up the sock again." - Dorothy Day

Gifting Starts Early

My Mom was here for the week. Among the topics of conversation; the difficulty in finding wool socks. The hatred of seams on the toes of socks. The irritation of always having cold feet. The last straw was when she looked at The Ugly socks and said "oh, they're so cute!". In the end, the family decided that they were kind of like the circus...

So, Mom is now the proud owner of a lovely (hideous) pair of Jaywalkers. Sadly, I never got a chance to take pictures of her feet, so you'll have to settle for this one.

So all is well with the world; I've found a new recipient for handmade socks, Mom has something to warm her feet, and I don't have to listen to BBMM mocking the Circus Socks. Good times...

Pattern: Jaywalkers, by Grumperina, from Magknits. My love for this pattern is complete; I will probably join the rest of the blogosphere in knitting several pairs of these. It's easy enough to be a portable, pick-up-at-any-time knit. It's interesting enough to not create second sock syndrome. I knit the larger size, over 84 stitches.

Yarn and Needles: Opal , 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon. Less than one skein of color # 3. I used size 0 aluminum DPN's, for some ridiculously tight gauge that I didn't write down anywhere. The yarn is not the softest stuff in the world, but it's certainly acceptable. It's not itchy, it's just not luscious. I still have another full skein of this stuff left over. Maybe Mom and I need matching socks...

Mods: The only thing I changed was the cuff ribbing. I didn't like the way 2x2 rib looked in this yarn, and I wanted the ribbing to match up to the leg pattern a little better. So I cast on 80 stitches and worked a 1x1 twisted rib. On the last row of ribbing I increased a stitch at the end of each needle to get me back to 84 stitches. This got me a ribbing i liked, and the knit stitches matched up to the center knit stitch in the leg pattern. From there on out, everything was done exactly as written.

If I Could Do It Over: Oh, and I will. I liked the ribbing mod I made, so I would do that again. And you might notice something in the picture above; I just knit and knit without thinking, and there's a nasty bit of extra striping at the ankle. Had I been thinking, I could have made the stripes match at that point. Other than that, I would not change a thing. This is just the perfect pattern for self-striping yarns; I might make another pair with the Regia Silk leftover from Devan. I bet Mom would like those too...

Next in the queue, a new pair of socks for BBMM, knit from yarn bought at Rhinebeck. And of course, more stole. I'm up to 100 rows, and I've got a lot of football to watch today. May the force be with me!


My New Best Friend

You know what everybody always wants to see? Pictures of a white blob. Oh wait, you know what's better? Really poorly lit pictures of a white blob. Fun!

It is though, a white blob with 90 rows completed. I've only had to rip back to a lifeline once, and I'm now able to work on it while, say, having a conversation. OK, no, but while listening to the radio. It's better.
And here is a good part of the reason that I am still sane.

It's my new best friend, the Yarn Clam. You make a center pull pall, then you shove it in there with the center end coming out of the top, like so.
And miraculously, it actually works. It doesn't tangle, it doesn't snag, there is no tugging or untangling or screaming or cursing of any kind. It also keeps me from doing things like spilling coffee on the yarn, or leaving the yarn out as a present for the cat, or any other stupid thing that I could otherwise be expected to do with white laceweight.

We are off tonight to host Thanksgiving upstate. I should have a pretty good update for you early next week though. A hint; it's ugly.


Pipes Are Funny

This weekend we were, oddly enough, gifted a corn cob pipe. It's a long story involving a snowman, a Christmas tree, and free gifts with purchase, but there it is. The timing of it has simply added to my complete and total amusement with my latest finished object.

How could I not work the pipe into the photos? It had to be done.
This being the simplest knit in the history of the world, there are no real details to show off. Here's a gratuitous duplicate stitch success shot though:
Pattern: "Bob Dobbs", from Domiknitrix. Knit in size Large, no changes from the pattern as written. This is the simplest of simple knits; stockinette in the round to the armholes. Ribbing is worked vertically all the way up from the armholes, so no picking up stitches there. Most neck stitches are left on the needles to be worked into ribbing later. There are a few stitches picked up around the neck, but not many. Even the duplicate stitch is easy, although you do have to follow a chart for that. The size I made fits perfectly, and exactly as expected. I knit the back a little too long, actually, so it looks a little funny laying flat, but fits BBMM well; most sweaters are a little short in the back for him, so I compensated for that.
I still love Domiknitrix's patterns completely. Her hatred of seaming and love of circular knitting rival mine. They're also really well crafted; they have almost couture detail to them. And she doesn't hesitate to do things differently if they'll work better. Even on this, the armhole ribbing is a little different, but it is sleek and bulk-free, fits a little better than normal picked up ribbing. The neck ribbing has decreases in it so it fits closely to the neck instead of winging out at the shoulders like the usual ribbing. Good stuff.

Yarn & Needles: Patons Classic Merino, 100% Merino Wool, 223 yards per skein. I used three skeins of Dark Grey Mix for the body, and less than a skein of Grey Mix for the lighter contrast. For the black contrast, I used a partial skein of Bernat Lana, also 100% Merino Wool. These two yarns are basically identical. I used size 7 metal circulars for the whole thing.
Mods: Nope. The pattern indicates that you could make a few modifications and knit the pattern in intarsia, but that would have required knitting flat, so I didn't do it. Frankly, I haven't had a lot of success with intarsia anyway.

If I Could Do It Over: I don't think I would change anything, except maybe using machine washable wool. Hand washing; ugh. For this though, I figured I could get away with it; how often is BBMM really going to wear this?

All in all, this was a fantastic movie-watching project. And the giggling it's inspired is well worth the time and effort I put into it.
Oh, and do be careful; Big Brother Bob is watching.


Naughty Knitter

So Bob Dobbs, despite my doom and gloom, is moving along swimmingly. The duplicate stitch is not nearly as difficult as I expected, and it looks quite good. I would say I'm about 2/3 of the way done with it. I actually thought I might finish this weekend, so when I packed up for the weekend I brought the wedding stole ingredients with me, just in case.

Saturday night I sat down to work on it, only to realize I had left the chart at home. Terribly upsetting. So I did the only thing a knitter can do to console herself; cast on for something new!

Yes, the wedding stole is now officially a work in progress. I'm only about 20 rows in, so it's an inch worth of mangled blob, not worth showing. What it is though, is absorbing, exciting, fun knitting. It's also, I'm sad to say, going to take forever. Twenty rows per weekend = 28 weekends plus edging. That's over six months, with no breaks. This is going to dedication worthy of a marriage!

My plan at the moment is to only work on it on weekends, or the random day off when I am absolutely alone. It really does require tremendous concentration; no TV, no chatting, not even radio. Frankly, the phone ringing once on Saturday was enough to nearly give me fits.

So weekends are for stole, weeknights are for Bob Dobbs, and I hope to be finished with that by the next week (yes, I am being overly optimistic). I will say this about Bob; I laugh every time I look at it. It might be the kind of funny that only I can understand. Stay tuned, and you too can decide if I'm insane!