knitting and the life I almost have around it

Monday, March 12, 2007

staying power

ok so i finished the blasted purple chevron socks. I think the main reason these distressed me was the blasted 'forethought heel'. if i were to knit these again i'd do a nice slip-stitch heel - i just find that doing heels with the stupid provisional cast on and then decreasing like a toe... and then having to unpick your cast on and pick up the sticthes to knit in the round again... it makes the whole thing too complicated. And it takes away from the genius of the architecture of a handknit sock. plus i dont think they are as comfortable, nor do they wear as well. i wouldnt have done it at all if i didnt have the jawoll yarn with the special reinforcement thread.but here they are nonetheless. i had a slight tension issue (heel aside) because i changed from ebony needles to metal ones so i would finish them faster. it was a silly mistake but one is quite a bit snugger than the other. however, as they are for my mother and she will most likely wear them with boots i dont think it will matter too much.

also, we had some sad news in the last week. Sherpa's grandmother has been diagnosed with bowel cancer and is going to have to have some pretty horrible surgery. so, recalling my excellent hit rate against cancer (Spidey 1: Cancer 0) i thought i'd better knit socks for her too.
and i started this one yesterday.

its an opal yarn... but i've lost the ball band.
(pause while spidey makes a quick search)
Well, i've looked everywhere and cant find it, but i assure you it is opal and i bought it at mawson.

Oh and to answer a question i was asked some time ago: Have i ever knit toe-up socks?
Yes, i have. i have knit two and they were not a pair.
to be honest, it did nothing for me. i liked the idea of using every last scrap of a ball of sock-yarn (most sacred of yarns) and that was why i attempted it.
however! For me, one of the biggest draw-cards of sock knitting is that you start off with, say, 70 stitches and you just keep decreasing. the heel-flap heel is ingenious and seamless, and the grafted toe is the final crisp touch. there is no unpicking required, no muss, no fuss... and if you're anal like me and always have a darning needle you're set!
with the toe-up sock (and i will allow that this is partly due to what i'm used to) you have to do sneaky, snarky provisional cast ons. its not as easy to measure where the heel ought to be (in a heel flap sock i start the toe 16cm from the edge of the flap if they are for me.. i dont have to put it on to work it out!). and basically, if you are doing a full leggy sock (which you should be to take full advantage of your inability to have too little yarn) you need to INCREASE for shaping, not decrease!
question answered?

anyway, so apon further reflection, perhaps the purple (slightly looser and better for hospital stay) socks might be better for Sherpa's Nan and the Opal ones might be better for my mother (even if they are a little bright for her taste). Any thoughts? Or do i try and cast on ANOTHER pair and kill myself trying to finish them for the 19th (which is both my mother's bday AND the day Nana Sherpa goes into hospital)?

not much else to say except my stitches are out and it itches like hell... and while i honestly try not to wallow in self-pity or vanity... it kind of bothers me to have thuis huge ugly scar on my thigh. its not like i wear minis a lot.. but i dont mind my legs and its sort of.. sad. its not like you wouldnt notice it. so yeah, get out the crayolas and colour me 'conceited' but i wish i had my nice smooth thigh back.

the vain
Ms Spider xo

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  • At March 12, 2007 11:49 pm, Blogger AR said…

    Sorry to hear about Nana Sherpa. Best wishes for her! The socks are so nice looking. I like top down, too.

  • At March 13, 2007 1:43 am, Anonymous sarai said…

    Okay, I have no answer to your increase-for-calf-shaping criticism of toe-up socks. But I am here to tell you that you don't need a provisional cast-on or a measuring tape for them either!

    I usually have used the Figure-8 cast-on, but recently discovered this one, which is much neater.

    As for measuring when to start the heel, I start it when the sock is about 4 cm longer than my (5 inch) sock needles. Easy.

    Top down is nice too though...

  • At March 13, 2007 7:50 am, Blogger Taphophile said…

    Fi on cancer! Hmm, well it was Opal sock yarn that cured the last one, but the chevron look a bit more Nanna-like.

  • At March 13, 2007 8:09 am, Blogger kylie said…

    tough question. i like the anti-cancer opal ones youre knitting because you have a good record with opal and cancer and they are so bright and cheerful. as for the scar, well ofcourse it adds character and you can get sherpa to ask you how it happened every time he sneaks up there (grin) and he can feel sorry for you all over again :)


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