Archive for the “pomatomus” Category

Ravelry is sucking away my knitting time. As if I weren't addicted to the internet enough already, there are two things which are making it worse. First, the Big Issues Debate Group. The people there are just awesome! There's such a high level of intelligence and civility, even when we disagree 100% on a topic. Now the second, just started today, is that there's a #ravelry channel on IRC. I'm done for.

But I'm way past the heel and gusset on the Trekking Sock (stitches all fixed now) and I did a few rounds on the Pomatomus yesterday. I'm not doing *nothing*, really! Just not making the kind of progress I want.

There is a Kureyon Sock Yarn coming out. It's not even too expensive! $19 for 462 yards/100g, and the yardage looks good. I plan to buy a skein once I decide on a colorway, but I hope it's not as full of twigs and crap as the original Kureyon.

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I have finished the first pattern repeat of the second Pomatomus sock, and it is starting to look like something other than a mess. How pleasant! Tonight I'm going to see if I can get past the heel of the Trekking Ribbed Sock so that I can once again bring it out in public.

During knitting breaks I've been spinning some; the spindle is almost full and ready to be wound off onto the next toilet paper roll. Pirate-Husband thinks it's funny that I've been collecting them! I'm quite happy with the progression of my spinning skills. I've gone from park-and-draft, to letting the spindle drop, to being tempted to stand on my chair to get more out of each spin. And the single gets more even with each session.

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Tonight's SnB was held at Cosi, a small cafe, instead of the Panera we usually go to - and I think we may be switching venues. It was decently lit and much quieter, and the food... when I arrived, there was brie, bread, strawberries and grapes at each end of the table. I got a glass of wine to go with it. Later on, we ordered s'mores and had too much fun roasting marshmallows at the table. I'm not sure any of us got very much knitting done, but what a fantastic time we had!

I started the second Pomatomus yesterday and I'm about 20 rounds in. This sock looks so funny at the beginning before the pattern is really established, like there are just random holes here and there. I remember this from the first sock and I know it will start making sense of itself in another fifteen rounds or so. Tomorrow I will focus on it and make some serious progress.

The Trekking Ribbed Sock came with me to SnB and I think I'm about up to where the heel should start. I need to measure it against another sock that's a good height just to be sure. The heel, I think, I'm going to have to work on at home, even though it's a traveling sock, because I will be sure to mess it up otherwise. Either that, or I can deliberately go out and knit somewhere quietly by myself. In general, it's going very quickly and I'm thrilled! The more socks, the better.

Pirate-Husband got the call from the radiologist that only one rib is actually very broken. There is a second that might be cracked but might only be seriously bruised. Either way, he's not letting the pain stop him; he got on a plane to Iceland this afternoon and should be arriving soon, if I have the time zones right. I sent him with my camera, so there won't be any new pictures in here until at least Monday.

I've been wearing the Stripey Striped Scarf to work, because it's finally been cold enough. There was frost on my windshield the other day! People have been complimenting me on it and I get such a thrill out of saying "thank you; I made it myself!" There's at least one other person in the office who knits, but she doesn't sit near me so I don't know if she's seen it yet.

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Pirate-Husband and the road had a bit of an altercation Sunday night. He is (mostly) fine. At least one broken rib and possibly two more; we'll know for sure tomorrow, after the radiologist comes to look at the x-rays. I'm not sure what the damage is to the motorcycle.

Trekking Ribbed Sock, pic 2So today has been another knitting day. The Trekking Ribbed Sock is now 3.5" long in the leg. I knit in the waiting room of the urgent care center, I knit while I waited for the doctor to come look at Pirate-Husband, I knit while he was x-rayed, I knit while I waited for his prescription to be filled. The doctor thought the sock was the coolest thing ever. "I knit," she said, "but I never thought of doing socks. I'm pretty much a scarf knitter." I told her that if she could knit a scarf, she could knit a sock. While we were waiting for the x-ray tech, Pirate-Husband said that now that I'm so quick at simple sock-knitting, maybe he would possibly potentially like a pair of socks of his own, if I were so inclined. I'm so relieved that he's not more seriously injured, I'm actually considering it.

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I have a dressy dinner planned for Friday night. I have new dressy clothes that I bought for my new job. Perfect, right? Not quite. What's not perfect? Discovering that my Pomatomus matches one of my new skirts exactly. Why is that not perfect? Because I only have ONE SOCK.

If that's not motivation to work on a difficult sock pattern, I don't know what is!

...as soon as the Jaywalker's done.

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Jaywalker 2, pic 3 I only got a few rounds past the point at which this picture was taken when my hands started seriously complaining about two straight hours of sock knitting. That being said, tonight's SnB was fun as usual! We had about fifteen people at the most crowded. Some crocheters and some needlepointers, but mostly knitters. I really enjoy talking to everyone, and showing the sock around. I demonstrated Continental knitting ("that looks weird, doesn't it?") and talked up the ease of flap heels to someone who's just getting into the idea of socks. Also, I came home with a bonus copy of "Knit 'N Style" magazine. I may not knit anything from it, but I love looking at the pictures and seeing what crazy ideas people come up with!

The other cool thing about the SnB, I may have mentioned, is that we're working together on a charity blanket. I got the yarn for my four squares today, as well as the one border square that Pirate-Husband agreed to knit. My size 6 needles are free, so I can get started on my squares right away. Pirate-Husband is away on business... but when he gets back, I'm putting him to work!

Now, because the subtitle of the blog is "A Knitter and Her Day Job," I feel that it is very important for me to share this next bit of news: I have joined the ranks of the re-employed. Yes, my days of bumming around are over as of July 9th. I had an interview yesterday and one today - and both places made offers. I took the one from yesterday. The commute is going to be rough, but I plan to get books and French lessons on CD to help me pass the time in the car. I am very excited about this; I think it's blah blah great opportunity blah blah buzzword drone drone... the important thing is, I wasn't out of work for very long and I haven't forgotten how. I'm eager. Just think of all the yarn I can buy, now that I'll have income again! Mmmm, celebratory yarn...

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Midori asked about the Pomatomuses in this comment, saying that she's making a very small pair with a third of the stitches taken out, but is unsure how to do the heel. This seemed like a challenge to me... right then!

(I checked back in Midori's blog and found that she'd already come up with a solution, but I'm going to post this one anyway. I'm curious to see how it differs from what she came up with.)

The original pattern calls for 24 stitches on each of three needles for the leg, so I'm going to guess that Midori has begun with only 48 stitches. If I were making a sock this small, I would be using four needles instead of three, and work the Chart A pattern once over each needle (four repeats = 48 stitches), instead of twice over each of three needles (six repeats = 72 stitches).

So then, the heel. In the original pattern, you begin with 72 stitches. At the heel, you put 36 stitches, or half of the original, on each of two needles. When you're beginning with only 48 stitches, you would put 24 - half of the original - on each of two needles, then work the heel flap back and forth over the stitches on one of them. The original is 36 stitches for 28 rows. Math, which has never been my strong point, seems to indicate that the heel flap should now be worked for 18.6666 rows. How about 18? 18 sounds good.

Turning the heel, hrm. I'm figuring this out as I go along. In the original, it begins "sl1, k19, ssk, k1, turn work." Well, 19 stitches is one past half. So, try "sl1, k10, ssk, k1, turn work." Because you have eighteen stitches, half is nine, and one more than that is 10. Then work the rest of the heel turn. I haven't done many flap heels, so I can't say that I've got this right, but it should be a starting point for you to work from. On the RS, you will knit to one stitch before the gap, ssk, k1, turn. On the WS. you will purl to one stitch before the gap, p2tog, p1, turn. Do this until all the heel stitches have been worked. (I highly recommend putting in a lifeline after the heel flap and before the turning, so in case I'm incredibly wrong, you won't have to rip back too far.)

Again, math seems to indicate that you will now pick up ten stitches along each side of the heel flap for your gusset. You now have the original 24 stitches on the instep needle, 10 stitches on each of your gusset needles, and uh... however many stitches left on your heel needle after turning the heel. You may need more or less gusset decreases to make the sock fit snugly, since your foot is so small, but if you put the sock on waste thread or lots of extra needles, you can try it on as you go.

Now you have 24 stitches (depending on what row you're on) across the top of your foot, and stockinette stitch for the sole. The part of Chart B where it says "repeat twice?" Don't repeat it. Voila, 24 stitches across the top. You can probably put the sock back onto three needles at this point, with the 24 stitches on one needle, and the others split onto two, then work down to the toe.

My first Pomatomus is about 10 rounds from beginning the toe. Almost done!

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After the third pattern repeat on the foot, I measured the sock. I measured my foot. I held the sock to my foot and measured the difference. I re-measured - and I have less than one full pattern repeat to go before starting the toe!

...is this considered premature celebration? This sock seems to be taking forever, and I still have to knit the second of the pair.

Stitch 'n Bitch tonight! (No, I'm not bringing the sock. I cannot talk and work on this sock at the same time. Sometimes I cannot breathe and work on this sock at the same time.) I think I'll bring something really simple. Maybe the hat to match the green scarf. Something I don't have to think about while I knit.

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Pomatomus 7 O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

So! It's not that the sock is too small, it's that needles - even bamboo needles - are really inflexible, and don't care to bend over my instep. I knitted a little further out of frustration, then sorted the stitches out onto five needles, instead of three, and tried again. And here it is! The Pomatomus sock, finally on my foot! I could not be more pleased that I don't have to rip back and begin again.

Times like this, I wish I didn't have such long feet. I wear a 10.5 (ladies US) or 42 (European) and I am rather jealous of sock knitters with small feet! That's okay - I'm in the home stretch now. Just a few inches, and a second sock, to go!

What's the best way to take pictures of one's own feet? This was the only good picture I could get. I tried various angles, but either my ankle disappeared, or the stitch pattern didn't show up well, or my foot looked gigantic (wait, my foot is gigantic) or it was unflattering in one way or another. Perhaps when the pair of socks is done, Pirate-Husband will assist with the taking of pictures.

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Closed Basket Open Basket Let's take a tour of the basket! First, the top section with all the notions. Needles, stitch markers, labels from all the yarn I've ever used... You can see that it used to be a picnic basket. This top section has spots for four cups. Plates and flatware went on top. But no more! Now it's yarn, all yarn! Muahaha! ...er. Okay then.

Inside the Basket Sometimes I like to just look at the pile of yarn. All the colors and textures together make me happy. Especially that rainbowy Noro Kureyon!

Sock yarn...and sometimes I like to take out the sock yarn and imagine all the different kinds of socks that I will make with it. The pink and gray Austermann Step is the newest addition to the stash. Pirate-Husband and I enjoyed the beautiful weather over the weekend with a motorcycle ride. We went to a yarn store about 45 minutes away in Haymarket, a little town just where northern Virginia starts to become central Virginia. It's called Needles in the Haymarket, and everyone there was so friendly that I couldn't resist buying some yarn. They had a great selection of yarns there. Lots of alpaca, many many colors of Cascade 220, enough sock yarn that I had to force myself to choose. Even some Manos Cotton Stria, which I'd never seen before in person. It's considerably softer than I expected! Eventually, the Austermann Step won out because of the aloe content. I got a bottle of Eucalan, too, which I'm sure will come in handy as I knit more things that can't be machine-washed.

Cobweb1This is that silk and cashmere blend I keep talking about. It's so fine and perfect and soft, I admit I'm a little intimidated! Cobweb2 But I have the pattern, and I have the yarn. All I need are the needles and the time, and this will be a gorgeous scarf. Granted, it's the kind of thing I don't usually wear, but I am looking forward to the challenge of knitting it. I have the thought that once it's done, I'll be so proud of it that it will be come the kind of thing I usually wear! Next thing you know, I'll be wearing shawls... what is this world coming to?

Pomatomus is coming right along. I found my mistake - (Totally my mistake. Nothing wrong with the pattern. I knit the same round twice. Oops.) - and un-knit it, and now I'm going forwards again! Last night I got past the gusset decreases and decided to try it on... and it won't go over my heel. I'm not panicking yet. Maybe when I get further down the foot, it will fit better. Maybe it just needs some serious blocking. I am spot-on with gauge for the pattern, and I don't have particularly large ankles, so I don't know what's up. Am I in denial here, or is it reasonable to believe that I can make this thing fit?

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