February 28, 2012

On to the heel turn...

Slightly late, but I just wanted to check in and report that I managed to finish my leg cuffs and, as of last night, the heel flaps for my magic loop 2-at-a-time socks!  This evening I'm hoping to start the tricky part: the heel turn and gusset for each sock.  Should be interesting.

February 23, 2012

Da de dum

I was hoping last weekend to have finished my sock legs and be working on the heels, but that didn't happen.  I did knit, but not as much as I should have/wanted to, which is funny since I was home the entire time.  It's interesting how easy it is to distract oneself!

Also not helping my knitting progress is the fact that my once weekly knit nights at Starbucks haven't been happening--people have just been too crazy busy.  And sitting here, I just realized the one at the yarn shop is tonight, but I already made plans--d'oh! 

I don't have much else to report at the moment--my queue has been quiet and my yarn obsession dampened by lack of funding (heh).  Hopefully the end of February will turn itself around and prompt more exciting posts.

February 18, 2012

Plugging along

I had a goal for myself to try and post at least twice a week, and totally failed at that goal as soon as I made it.  Figures.

In happier news, I'm plugging right along on my socks!

Please ignore the cat fur.  *sigh*

Check me out!  I'm loving this magic loop two-at-a-time thing.  I'm still nervous about the heels, but I have several more inches to go on the leg of the socks before I have to really worry about it.

One of my concerns is due to the fact that I'm following the instructions for heels in the 4-stitch pattern section of the book Sensational Knitted Socks.  The instructions have you unknit the last purl stitch, and then shift things around to center the pattern.  I can't do that via magic loop (unless I take them off and do them on DPNs to do the heels, but I don't want to do that).  For these socks, it doesn't matter and I'll skip that particular step because my mom wants the plain stockinette feet.  In the future though, I may have to start out with my pattern already centered, which could be interesting (at least, that's how my friend Sam helped me figure it out).

If anyone has any suggestions/advice for this problem on future socks, I'd love to know!

February 11, 2012

Simple socks

I'm getting ready to start a new pair of socks (for my mom, as usual) and I've decided to embark on a bit of an adventure with them.

Not long ago, I managed my first toe-up magic loop sock in the form of the Skew Socks.  I don't have a problem with dpns, but something about magic loop made it so much more pleasant; maybe it was less fiddly?

At any rate, while my mom liked the Skews and thought they were funky, she is partial to the first pair of socks I knit for her (which was the first pair of socks I knit EVER).  They're very simple: a 2x2 ribbed leg, heel flap, and plain stockinette foot.  I feel like her love for them has more to do with the Mini Mochi I knit them with than the pattern, but she insisted that the new socks should be the same (also Mochi, but plain too).

I had a feeling that I would never be inspired to work on them, as I like to incorporate a new technique in most of my projects (not only grow as a knitter, but to also stave off boredom).  Then I had a brain wave:  I could knit them cuff down, with magic loop (which would be sort of new).  And it would be so much more pleasant. 

Then I had a totally crazy idea:  what about two-at-a-time?  I spent awhile watching videos and reading tutorials and I think I can manage it.  I'm still a little unclear about the heel/gusset part, but I have faith in myself.

So here's hoping I not only finish these socks in less than 3 months, but that it goes smoothly!  Wish me luck.

February 8, 2012

Finally an FO

I somehow managed to be a knitting maniac the last few days, and finished my Jenny Cloche last night.

I love it!   It's cushy and warm and lovely.  I did have some issues trying to cinch up the side seam (I couldn't get it to look right--it always made the hat look wonky), so I ended up just taking that out and left it un-cinched. I also ended up tacking down the bow on either side, as it was otherwise a bit too floppy and felt like it would come flying off.  I think this is where my lack of sewing skills came into play (I should probably work on that...)

As I also mentioned before, I have also developed a deep love for Malabrigo, and I have quite a bit left over!  I'll have to measure it, but I think I might have enough to make some handwarmers to go along with it...and we all know I have plenty of patterns to choose from in my Ravelry queue.

February 5, 2012

Knitting quickly (or not)

About a week ago, I spotted a post on Knitting in Color about how not to knit faster, and it got me thinking about my knitting methods.  Not long before I saw that post, one of my knit night friends told me she'd changed her purls and now she could do it so much more quickly and efficiently.

Back on Fiber Freaks a million years ago, I often waxed poetic about how I wanted to adjust how I knit so that I could be faster.  I knit Continental, technically, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not get the hang of picking.  So I basically gave up, and continued with my go-to method (which I've seen described on Ravelry as "continental wrapping"--turns out I'm not the only one to knit this way, yay!) 

Sometimes I do wish I could speed along like I see a lot of people doing in videos, and sometimes I also secretly wonder if I should switch over to English style since I like to wrap so much...but really, I'm pretty content with my style (for now).  It's comfortable, and I can be pretty quick at it (don't let the video above fool you--I get weirdly self conscious when knitting on video.  I swear!)

That being said, I would like to minimize my movements a little more, and to figure out a way to move my stitches along more smoothly.  I always seem to have to stop and shift the stitches around, and its very bothersome. 

But the biggest thing I need to do to improve my knitting speed?  ACTUALLY WORK ON MY PROJECTS!

February 3, 2012

Thoughts on Lace

After my last post, I went ahead and did a Ravelry Queue purge, since I'd just queued a bunch of new things and I knew there were things on there I really needed to get rid of.  Doing so allowed me to notice something about myself I hadn't realized:  I'm not such a big fan of typical lace shawls.

There are exceptions to this rule, of course (i.e. the Peacock Shawlette I mentioned in my previous post), but the overwhelming majority of "shawls" in my queue are more solid ones--the Daybreak, the Skewed Shawl...sometimes there are things with a little lace at the edges (i.e. the Pimpelliese, or Tuch/shawl), but overall, they are much more casual shawls.  This is not to say I don't think lace shawls are beautiful, because they are and I appreciate all the work and time that goes into them.

I think I like the more casual and simple-looking shawls simply because that's more my style, but I also feel like they're a little more versatile:  I could wear one with pretty much anything.  I think there are very few lace shawls you could really wear (or would want to wear) with jeans and sneakers (this of course depends on the shawl and what kind of yarn you use, etc.  I mean...my friend Sam made a gorgeous Traveling Woman with worsted weight yarn, and wears it more casually and I love it!  but if it were knit out of say, a lace yarn?  It'd have a whole different feel).  I also feel like spending all that time making a beautiful lace shawl, only to wrap it around my neck like a scarf, would be a waste.  But I suppose a knitter can wear the items he/she knits however they please ;)