Travel Knitting

Back in February, when I left my home for what turned out to be more than two months work away (it was originally only going to be one month), I gave a lot of thought to what projects I wanted to bring. I decided that it would be the perfect opportunity to finish off some UFOs, as being away from my stash would force me into project monogamy. That thought also worked well in conjunction with the rule I set myself: no new yarn until the stash is under 10 kms long (when I left, the stash was 17+ kms). I brought with me two unfinished pairs of socks, and yarn for a small new project, the Eyelet Rib Bandeau.

Now that it is the day before I leave for home, it is time for a review. How did it all work out? Well, I finished one pair of socks, my Millicents. They only really needed one foot knit. I also discovered an error in the pattern, mentioned in this Ravelry thread.

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Cara’s socks… are not done, but now only need one foot knit. This is starting to sound familiar. I don’t get second sock syndrome, I quite enjoy casting on the second sock. I just need to stall before I finish the foot, apparently.

The Eyelet Rib Bandeau: I swatched for it, and decided I didn’t like the way the stitch pattern looked, and was starting to doubt how much I’d wear the finished product (I still think it is super cute!). So, I looked around for something to cast on. I was hampered by the fact that I only had two knitting magazines here, and one book (and of course, teh internets). The book was Favorite Socks, which was no help for using up Rowan Cashsoft DK. This is where Ravelry came in handy, with the new experimental search. I found that I had enough yarn for another project I wanted to make, that was in the same magazine as the Bandeau! So, I cast on for the Clementine Shawlette.

Clementine Shawlette

I actually got a lot of this done backstage at the opera. I had almost no cues in all of act 3, plus I was stuck upstairs alone on the upstage side of balcony. There were windows and French doors all along it, so once the show started, I couldn’t move from where I was without being seen. So I’d sit down on the ground (no room for a chair!) and knit away. This helped with memorizing the pattern, I didn’t want to have too many loose bits up there that could accidentally get kicked over the edge. I memorized the pattern so I wouldn’t have to have the magazine up there.

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I love that it is knit in two halves, rather than one piece, because I can use up every inch of yarn by just knitting until ball #2 runs out, then start again.

I’m not sure if I’ll keep this knit. I have a friend in mind who is going through a bad time, and I thought it might be nice for her, although I don’t know if she’d use it. I may just start a Christmas present box. That’s a novel concept; knitting Christmas gifts in April!

Last night I finished the first half, I’m going to start the second half today.

This trip was not without stash aquisition though: I got a great closing night gift from one of my co-workers:
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Fleece Artist Merino sock yarn! Yum! His girlfriend is a knitter, but she maintains that her only input was the idea of getting me yarn, and that he picked the yarn and colour by himself. Impressive. :) Those two pictures are the same skein, I love all the colours in it!

Finished Millicent Socks

Millicent Socks, started August 4th, 2007, finished March 22nd, 2008
Pattern: Cookie A’s Millicent Socks
Yarn: Louet Gems Pearl in ‘Grape’, just under 4 skeins
Needles: 2.25mm Addi Turbo (US 1)
Dimensions: (Edit in later, when I find my pattern)
Pattern Notes: There is a mistake in the pattern for the left foot and toe. I asked Cookie about it on Ravelry, and she confirmed. I made no changes.
Would I knit it again? Love the pattern, but I don’t need two pairs of these socks. Nor do I need to do that much 2×2 ribbing for a long, long time.

 Look at those toes!

I love that they are mirrored.

In this photo, you can see a bit of my new favourite thing, my bright pink trench coat! Birthday present from mum. :) It’s such a great coat on grey days.

 

It was cold, so I had to wear tights to walk and find my photoshoot location. I don’t have appropriate shoes with me to actually wear with these socks. I have my Docs here, but they are getting a bit rough in the heels, and I didn’t want to risk holes in my fabulous new socks.

Finishing those pairs…

About time for a knitting update, isn’t it? I’m doing wonderfully on two counts:

1. The Millicent Socks

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Yes, that is Millicent #2! And so close to being done. I finally got over what was keeping me from finishing it, which was an error in the pattern! The directions for the left gusset and left foot are slightly wrong. I mentioned it on Ravelry, and Cookie confirmed it, which was all I needed to get going. I find it odd no one noticed the error before, and I have seen finished Millicents… maybe I was following the pattern too blindly?

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2. Cara’s Socks:

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That is sock #2, partway through the heel flap. Will I have two finished pairs of socks in March? I hope so!

A quick digression on airline knitting: I recently flew from Vancouver to Calgary and back, with the Millicents in my carry-on luggage (I had no checked bags). No one said a thing. On the way back, I stuffed more needles into my bag in case I need them out here, and no one said anything. Not even the security guy who hit me on the head with his beepy paddle thingy. I was making everything beep on that trip through security, even the hooks on my bra made the thing beep.

(Please excuse the photos, I’m staying with friends of my parents, and don’t want to have to explain taking photos of half-finished socks, so I took the pics in my room in the basement.)

In my infinite wisdom…

First, some eye candy*.

*(not my leg, the sock!)

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The finished Millicent! Isn’t it pretty? I still need to weave in the starting end, but it is otherwise raring to go. I used less than 2 skeins of Louet Gems, and I have size 8 feet and average ankles/calves. Full measurements used when I finally finish sock #2.

Millicent #2 got some attention yesterday. And then I had to rip out all I did that day. I had left it off at the end of the heel flap. In my keenness to be done with it…. I started the gusset without turning the heel. What is sad is that I managed to pick up all the stitches (thinking ‘is it always this awkward?’) and knit a couple rows before noticing.  I was stuck on a line of the pattern… it seems likein  the traveling k2p2 band, the stitches don’t stack neatly on top of each other. Although, that could be something to do with me having totally the wrong number of stitches, and the wrong shape of sock when I was doing that part.

Lady of Leisure

I’m a lady of leisure now that the show is over. At least until the 21st. :)

I had debated about finding work for this in-between time, but I think I made the right choice. I deserve some rest, right? And it’s not like I’m totally not working, I had my first ever union call on Sunday, and I’m doing a day at a theatre this coming Wednesday.

The first thing this lady of leisure did was…. laundry. But after that, I knitted! I got quite a few more stripes done on my bright stripes scarf. Pictures tomorrow, because I knitted (and cooked dinner) until it was dark.

I do have some pics of my Millicent progress though. These pics are from a week or two ago. They are closer to the same length now, as since I took the pictures, I’ve only worked on the shorter one. These pics were also taken inside, at night. The new camera didn’t do too badly, but daylight is still better.

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What I have left to knit is about the equivalent of a pair of regular socks. Which is heartening and depressing all in one go. I have to say that I’m looking forward to finishing them.

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The show is closed, it went well. My mum was visiting for a few days recently, and that also went well. She left us with a very well-stocked cupboard and fridge. And me with some new clothes. :)

I’m planning on using my 10 remaining days of leisure time on knitting, tidying, cooking, and possibly even sewing. Having just had my mum here, I’m all shopped out for a while (apart from an HMV gift certificate burning a hole in my wallet) so I won’t be tempted to spend money. Which is good, as I’m not earning any.

I’m hoping to finish knitting a project or two (Millicents? don’t know) and maybe go through the stash again. I’m all about paring down, especially after the shopping sprees mum took me on. All worthwhile sprees, I now own a frying pan! And jeans without holes!

Don’t put your knitting in the Dryer

So the other day, I was doing laundry. Like you do. I have laundry in my suite, which is wonderful, so I was watching TV and knitting while it was going. The dryer buzzed, so I got up, got the laundry out, threw it on the other couch and started sorting. We have two couches (loveseats really), and generally sit on one, and the other one is relegated to laundry sorting and guests.

So I’m sorting, and find a few damp items. I throw the offending items on to the couch I had previously been occupying with my knitting. Mission: Sort accomplished, I grab the bundle of damp clothes, and throw them in the dryer, and go about my business. I watch TV, I knit some. The boyfriend phones on his way home from work, and that reminds me about the laundry that is now dry. I open the dryer while still on the phone, and all the boyfriend gets is ‘OH. MY. GOD. I have to go. Call you back.’

I had gathered up my knitting bag with the damp stuff, and had thrown it in the dryer! It wasn’t zipped up either. It had the other partial sock in it, not the one I was knitting, which is why I didn’t notice.

While the Millicent escaped any felting disaster (I would’ve cried), do you know what happens when you put the very loose bit of a centre-pull ball that is almost finished up in a dryer?

This:

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Close up:

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Surprisingly, it wasn’t too terrible to untangle. I found that leaving the PJ pants in the mess, rather than try to drag them out actually helped the process.

And in better news, that particular sock is almost to the ankle. In worse news, my digital camera is now making any picture I take look like this:

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That’s both Millicents as of a few days ago. Impressive, huh?

Why didn’t my electronics break when I was brining home a real paycheck? My laptop needs a new battery too.

Millicents, so far

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My Millicents are coming on fairly well, considering how limited my knitting time has been recently. Today I finally finished the cuff of the second sock, and have about 2cm more ribbing than I do in the photos.

I put them on to stretch out the lace pattern for photos, but when they’re done, the lace will be the other way up, folded down over the 2X2 ribbing, more like this:

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So right now I am essentially knitting a bit that will be forever hidden. Never seen. And yet it is still a good 15cm (per sock!) that needs knitting. sigh. But they’re so pretty!

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The ribbing on the longer one is about halfway there, I’m pointing at it in this pic. Please excuse the bright white legs.

I’m really enjoying working with the Louet gems. I haven’t found any knots (and I’ve balled up 4 skeins) and it isn’t splitting. The colour is also wonderful. I think I’m going to need to find some really cool shoes to wear these with.

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I started these socks as part of Ravelry’s Sockdown!, being held in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group. Basically, a set of ‘rules’ is laid down which gives each month (starting this August) a designer and a technique (August was Sockbug or lace). You finish a pair of socks by that designer, or using that technique by the deadline, and are entered to win prizes. August was lace, and the deadline is September 30th. Back when I started, I calculated that I’d need to knit at least 2.5cm per day to make it. If that was true, I’d be more than half done. I’m about 25% done, with close to 0 knitting time on the horizon until about the 21st. I think I may have been to ambitious (especially considering I knew what a timesuck my new job would be), but there is still a chance. The rest of the socks are just ribbing, no more following a chart.

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Once both legs are decreased a bit (after 12.5cm of straight ribbing, each…argh) I want to put them both on one circular. I tried that when casting on, and it was just a huge mess, mainly because the circ I have isn’t quite long enough for two socks the circumference of my calves. Once they get to normal sock size, it should be okay.

Having these just be ribbing now means that both projects I have on the go are simple TV-projects. If these weren’t on a deadline, I’d start something new…

PS: The socks I’m going to start in October (Nancy Bush or cables)? Bayerische, both at the same time on one circular. Am I crazy? At least I was sane enough to not even try doing anything for the challenge in September (Grumperina or toe-up).