Recently in KALs Category

October 1, 2007

So, I'm going to try to get the socks that I've done finished up this month. One or two I may rip back to the beginning because I'm not in love with the patterns anymore. Can't promise that I'll hae a nice basket of completed socks by end of the month, but I'll try, nonetheless.

March 7, 2007

I haven't felt like blogging for the past couple weeks, so I decided to take a short break. No sense forcing myself to post when I really don't feel like it (and especially when I'm not one of the Big Bloggers).

I want to participate in a knitalong or two, so I'm keeping an eye on this list. Something that isn't so stress-inducing (as in, a drop-dead deadline), something that I'll feel inspired to do while using what I already have in my stash - that would be just right up my alley. Maybe another sock knitalong for me . . . I'd like to participate in swaps and exchanges, but there's no money, so that will have to wait till I get a Job.

Which I still haven't managed to get. I'm getting frustrated, and I'm trying not to be whiny, but . . . Okay . . . let's look at the positive - I rewrote my resume, and added some new text to the Experience section to cover the gap between my last paid job and now, which is becoming wider and wider as time goes by. I'm now an "independent consultant" with my own business, LBeno.DesignCodes. Yes, really, I don't want to be self-employed - I don't want to have to bother with all that taxes and hustling, but anything that makes me look better . . .

During my hiatus, I've been doing some rearranging of the rooms in the house. Moved the armoire over from the guest bedroom into our bedroom, so now I don't have to make the trek every time I fold the clean clothes. Straightened up the guest bedroom by moving most of the junk off the bed, sorting, discarding, putting into boxes and such. Eventually I'll be moving my sewing stuff into there. I'm keeping an eye on CraigsList for a nice sewing cabinet. I'd love to have one of those Koala Cabinets, but we just missed winning the MegaMillion Lottery.

Front of Knitting Bag Speaking of sewing, here's the front of the knitting backpack. I'm actually quite a bit further than here. I've got the back part attached, put on the straps, and now struggling with the bottom. I don't quite understand how a rectangular piece is supposed to go onto a curvy bottom - the corners are going to end up swished in and messy-looking if I'm not careful with sewing. I've already had to rip it out halfway because the corners are very crooked and I accidentally sewed parts of the bag that are not supposed to be part of the bottom with the bottom piece.

As for knitting, the seamless yoke sweater is coming along nicely. Mercifully, I didn't reside too long on Sleeve Island, even though I did have to rip out and redo the 1st sleeve when it turned out to be too long and have too many stitches. I think I've hit just about the right length for the body, so now I just need to do the math and figure out how many stitches to put on hold, then do a mind meld between the sleeves and body. Pictures coming up soon. It's cloudy (we're getting light snow), so perhaps tomorrow will be a better day for pictures . . .

October 5, 2006

sock Gallery When did you start making socks? Did you teach yourself or were you taught by a friend or relative? or in a class?

I taught myself, following the pattern from the VK issue. It wasn't too hard to do since the directions was straightforward. I may have asked someone how to turn the heel, though. I do remember being awed at the magic that happens when you turn the heel. That's the fun part of knitting socks . . .

What was your first pair? How have they "held up" over time?

I think it was a burgundy and golden sock (yes, Redskins colors) using a pattern that I found in Vogue Knitting, Fall '92. The yarn I used was fingering weight, and it came from Brazil, I think. Really good yarn, and no longer available, I think. Wish I had kept a label so I could look for it in other folks' stashes. How did it hold up? Well, I never really wore it - see the answer to the next question for reasons why.

What would you have done differently?

Not made it knee high, but more to crew sock height. I should have realized that I never wear knee-high commercial socks, hence, why should I be wearing hand-knit knee-highs? As you can see from the picture above, the socks come up about 3 inches or so above my ankles. I just like it that way and it feels comfortable, even during winter.

What yarns have you particularly enjoyed?

Good question. I haven't really settled on favorites because I haven't had the chance to buy different brands. I did knit with Trekking XXL, and I really like how it works up.

Do you like to crochet your socks? or knit them on DPNs, 2 circulars, or using the Magic Loop method?

Crochet? Nope - I don't do crochet. When I first got started with socks, I used DPNs. However, I was not happy with how laddering would occur sometimes, especially when I was knitting straight stockinette. I tried the magic Loop method, but I didn't like the way felt. Now, I use 2 circulars and I'm very happy with how it works out.

Which kind of heel do you prefer? (flap? or short-row?)

Usually, I do a flap, using the s1, k1 technique for 2 1/2 inches, and then picking up the gussets after turning the heel. However, I may make the short-row heel my favorite, since it is so easy to do and it looks more attractive.

How many pairs have you made?

Umm, it all has to be finished, right? Okay, as you can see from the photo, I have 8 pairs, 4 of which I wear most often. The lovely blue sock is now officially retired because the sole is so worn thin, there's a hole in one of the sock and I no longer have the yarn as I stupidly gave it away. I do, however, have quite a few in varying states of completion. Unfinished, mostly due to the second sock syndrome.

September 22, 2006

Finished "Here Be Wyvern" Socks On the last day of summer, I finally completed Mother's socks. The pattern is a real pleasure to work with. Wish I'd chosen another yarn for this, though. Working with Baby Ull on bamboo needles makes me feel like I'm knitting with cotton yarn - slow.

It was a lot of fun to participate in Summer of Socks - this was a good incentive to get started on new socks, and learn new techniques such as short-rowing toes and heels. Now that I've got this down pat, I'm going to find it easier to get started with socks when I know I can start from the toes easily. And just as I'm finished with this adventure, I'm about to start on another adventure - Socktober, hosted by Lolly. It's so amazing that the list of participants has grown to 800 people! Wow . . . there's absolutely no way I'll be able to get around to checking every single blog on the list. But I'll try to check out at least a few. And I may even contribute a tutorial, if I can figure out where to get a camcorder, get the stuff off it and into the 'puter. I'll have to check in with my sister about this . . .

Now it's back to my UFOs - I do need to clear off some of the items on the WIP list.

September 4, 2006

Mother's Wyvern Sock I've been working on Mother's sock. I actually made more progress than is shown in the picture, but I had to rip out about 1 or 2 inches because I discovered that I'd forgotten to m1 and was coming up one stitch short. It'll be a while yet before I finish, because she wants these to be almost knee-high. So that means 10 inches from bottom to top. I had her try it on and it fits her just right. So glad we're able to do toe-up socks . . .

In the meantime, I've cast on for another pair of socks for myself, using a chocolate skein of Blauband yarn that I found for sale at a LYS. Not much progress to show you as of yet, but hopefully by middle of week when I finish mother's sock and get ready to make its twin.

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