Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Picking Up Speed

Immediately after finishing my Simplicity Socks (read here and here), I started these:

And promptly didn't knit for a week!  However, things are moving along at a much better pace now. This pair of socks is again from Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.  The pattern is Tuscany; the yarn is KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in Kindling; and the needles are KnitPicks Options Nickel Plated Size 1 (2.25mm) 40" fixed circulars.

Why are things moving more rapidly?  The needles!!  I was using a different brand with thicker cables on the Simplicity socks.  The KnitPicks cables are thinner and much more flexible.  This means much less time is spent rearranging the stitches and the cables bend when and where you want them to bend.  KnitPicks also offers these in Harmony Wood and Sunstruck Wood.  I enjoy using those as well, depending upon the yarn.

In the next post, I'll share another picture of my progress as well as information about some of the sock yarns I have tried.

P.S.  I have not received any compensation for endorsing KnitPicks products.  Having tried other brands (you should see my needle collection!) they are simply my favorites.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Out of the Tunnel

I did it!  I am out of the tunnel!  The socks were finished this evening about 8:30 pm EDT.  The best part is they fit.  They are also very soft and will get their first wearing tomorrow.  I did have yarn leftover and had thought about making them longer, but I probably would have had to increase to go over my calves and that would have thrown off the pattern.  The length is good as is.

Not sure I have ever been this thankful to finally finish a project.  Now the debate begins...start another pair of socks or finish some of the many UFOs I have.  I confess - I want more socks!

Oh, and I made it through a second tunnel this evening. The tunnel known as ironing my husband's long sleeve shirts.  Any tunnels you are working through?

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

There is light at the end of the tunnel - the tunnel known as my socks.

A while back I had started a pair of socks in my attempt to improve my sock knitting skills, find the perfect fitting sock, and add to my lonely, single pair of handmade socks in my sock drawer.  The pattern I chose was Simplicity socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes from her book "Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks".  And by a while, I mean about a year.  It's been a really long tunnel.

I started them sometime in the first three months of 2012.  The sock pattern had directions for Small or Large; my foot fell somewhere in between.  Attempting to get "the perfect fit" I went with 2.75 mm circulars (one long, magic loop method) and used my own calculations for the foot length.  WRONG thing to do!!  In late June, I was ready to increase for the gusset, so I tried them on.  They were too long.  If I had continued, the heel would have been at my knee.  Not really, but they would have come close to fitting my older son's size 13 feet.  No big deal, I'll run a lifeline through a safe spot closer to the toe, recalculate (using Melissa's directions this time!) and continue on my merry way.   Mistake number two.  I had messed up on the pattern often enough that I couldn't follow a single row to put in the lifeline.  So, I ripped them out and started over.

Now, eight months later, I can see the light at the end of this tunnel.  The only thing left to knit is the 2x2 ribbing at the cuffs.  Maybe, just maybe, I will get them finished in time to wear them before it is sandals weather.

The bright side is there have been some really valuable lessons learned in this tunnel: 
Lesson #1 - Trust Melissa Morgan-Oakes - she really knows her stuff.  Use her calculations!
Lesson #2 - I have learned to read the knitting!  This is very freeing.  The pattern has a two row repeat.  I knew which row I was on by looking at the wrong side of the sock.  No more need to be keeping track of which row I was on by marking it down on a piece of paper which is what I was doing when I made all the mistakes!
Lesson #3 - It would have taken a lot less time if I didn't do a billion multiple projects for others which stopped the sock knitting for weeks at at time.  (Let's see if I remember this lesson!)

Time to put the pedal to the metal and get out of this tunnel!  Stay tuned for pics of the finished socks, on my feet, in the not-too-distance future - I hope.