- February 27, 2010
- tags: Greenhorn
Turns out that bit about ‘when the snow lets up’ was overly optimistic. As far as I can tell the snow is never letting up. It will continue forever. Sled dogs and igloos are starting to sound eminently practical.
I had grand plans for taking pictures of the blue mitts (adumbrate…I’m thinking they will be called adumbrate). Alas, taking pictures of your own hands involves a substantial amount of fiddling around with the tripod, swearing, knocking the camera over, swearing, sitting still while the timer runs down, swearing, and just generally having a bad go of it. I can barely bring myself to do it when it’s sunny and mild outside. The idea of doing it in heavy snow while shivering just didn’t appeal.
I could (just) manage to toss a sock on a blocker, hang the thing on a tree, and snap a quick shot. Please note the snowflakes clinging to the sock and commend me on my nobility. Please also note the nifty way the gusset and heel go together.
I officially like this construction and will likely use it again. The pattern is written, but this one will be a while in the testing process. Because it is an unusual way to build a sock, I want to have extra testers so I can be sure the instructions are as clear as possible. I’ll likely put it out for testing in a week or two, and will post here to let you know where to go to volunteer.
- February 26, 2010
- tags: Adumbrate
I used to think sock blockers were totally unnecessary, not much more than props really, something to make it look like you know what you’re doing. They don’t make your socks any warmer or softer or sturdier. Some people swear they help socks dry a bit faster. However, I try to wash at least a dozen pairs at once, and I’m not likely to buy a dozen pairs of blockers, so they’re not much help in that regard either.
It wasn’t until I started taking pictures of socks that I realized what they’re for. They’re for persuading your stitches to sit just right so you can get a pretty picture. Blocked socks just look tidier. I’m a believer. It’s not worth it for day-to-day wear, but it is if you want to show off.
It seems only logical that the same would be true of other knitted things, so I wanted to block my mitts. Alas, I don’t currently have any glove blockers. The things exist, though not in such profusion as sock blockers. There don’t seem to be a lot of modern versions, but there are quite a few older models on ebay and the like. I find the vintage wooden glove forms oddly appealing (though I fear they wouldn’t be of much practical use since they seem to have been designed for people with tiny dainty hands and I just don’t do dainty).
Not having proper blockers, I decided to rig something up myself. I hung the wet mitts from one set of needles, threaded another set through the bottom to hold them straight, added a few clips for a bit of weight, and worked the needles under a heavy box. It seems to have worked, though it lacked something in the ambiance department.
When the snow lets up I’ll try to sneak outside and get some pictures. I think I’ll likely put these out for free as first anniversary present. Look for them early next month.
- February 25, 2010
- tags: Adumbrate
If anyone wants to help me out by testing the blue mitts, now’s the time. There is a thread over on Ravelry where you can volunteer. I’m deciding on testers Saturday night, and sending the pattern out on Sunday. You’d need less than 150 yards of sportweight yarn, and you’d need to be able to finish one mitt in a week (one mitt takes me about 3 hours).
- February 22, 2010
- tags: Adumbrate
The cute sweet simple little mitts that took all of a few hours to knit up? From way back in December? Yeah, well, neither did I. Until yesterday that is, when I realized my hands were cold, recalled I was a knitter and that knitters have ways of dealing with this condition that do not involve turning up the heat, went looking for some of my old fingerless mitts, and stumbled across them.
What I found was most of a ball of yarn skewered by a small handful of needles, one completed and blocked mitt, and one folded scrap of paper covered in cryptic charts. There was not a number or a word of explanation to be seen. Now I know better, really I do. Alas knowing better does not seem to translate into acting better.
After a few minutes of staring and poking at the completed mitt I more or less got it sorted out and knit most of the second mitt in an afternoon. I even took notes this time. I just cast off the second, and they’re hanging to dry. Pictures tomorrow (depending on the weather/light), and the pattern (free I’m thinking…it’s been a while since I did a free one…maybe for the one year anniversary of this website) a bit later.
Anyone have an idea for a name?
- February 19, 2010
- tags: Greenhorn
Things seemed to be going well. Really they did. It was a new (to me at least) way to make a gusset and it seemed to be going off without a hitch. I finished the first Greenhorn and grafted the toes. It was the prettiest and least fussy graft ever. I should have known something was up. I soaked it, blocked it, and hung it to dry. I had tried it on several times during its construction, and had no reason to think anything was wrong.
But there was.
It pulled, just a little bit, right across the point where my leg turns and becomes my foot. Just a bit. Just a little tiny bit. Just enough to be maddening. I could wear it. But I knew I wouldn’t. I held it. Stared at it. I tried it on again. It was still just the tiniest smidgen too small. I swore with an enthusiasm and verve not usually heard except in the presence of eighteenth century pirates. I tried it on one more time. It was still too small.
So I ripped.
Actually, I picked out the lovely graft and tried to convince The Boy to pull the end. I wanted someone else to do it so as to spare me the heartbreak. He (likely wisely) declined this rare opportunity for authorized knitwear destruction. His protestations were most amusing. Eventually I succumbed and ripped it myself – all the way back to the gusset.
I added four rounds (and thus four more gusset stitches) and am now most of the way back to the toes. I’ll end up with a much better final product (ya know, one I’ll actually wear as opposed to one I’ll let languish at the bottom of the sock basket), but I still feel the tiniest bit slighted. It will likely pass once the pair is done and in the rotation, but for now, I am not amused.