Saturday, January 26, 2013

Slipper Socks

I'm in Seattle this evening trying to plan out where Courtney and I will venture in the spare two hours we have on Monday in between conference meetings. She knows her duties in preventing me from needing a second suitcase to accommodate the yarn purchases and has accepted said challenge.

Here at conference, I'm working on socks. I got through half a sock while on the plane on Friday and got through heel turn, gusset, and the majority of the foot during my Saturday meetings. It's a pair for the Philosopher and since he's not here I have to get to wait to get a foot measurement from him when I get home, I'll get to a point and then stop and switch to the other sock.

I've been wearing my Color Affection and that's brought out a couple of knitters too.  :)

But I wanted to show you what's waiting for me at home. I'm working on AudioGirl's Christmas gift, a pair of slipper socks that have a challenging cabled pattern.  The pattern is the Slipper Socks from Patons.  I've had to do some tweaks on the pattern, several of the directions don't quite make sense.  It's worsted weight, which I think is the only way I'll ever get through knee high socks.

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Gypsy, of course, had to help.  I'm using Cascade 220 Superwash. It's knitting up well, the slippers are very squishy and I'm getting really nice stitch definition.

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I'm doing four cables every other row and adding another two cables every 6 rows.  I'm about halfway down the leg on the second slipper but it's a do-at-home-only project so it's taking a longer time than I wish. I did finally get the pattern into my hands so I need to reference the chart less.

I should have some new yarn to show you next week!!


Friday, January 18, 2013

About that Assumption

I am one of those who started CodeAcademy with wonderful intentions and found myself promising that I’d catch up as soon as I had a couple more spare hours a day. While I’ve found another method of learning introductory programming that works for me, I do still get the CodeAcademy emails and have been watching what they’re offering with interest. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for many of my colleagues and has prompted some programming continuing education for librarians that might not otherwise have sprouted. 

Then there was this morning’s email which opened with
“You wouldn’t knit your own sweater. So why code your own map?” 

Gee, thanks for trivializing my craft in such a gendered fashion. Because, obviously, if I knit my own sweaters–tackling simple repetitive processes that can be combined to create large and wonderfully complex products–I have no interest in coding. Obviously.

I shot an email back to Zach pointing out that at least one of his readers does fall into the sweater-knitting category. Just now I had a quick browse through the forums on Ravelry (the knitting/crochet/spinning community with nearly 3 million members) and found conversations about CodeAcademy in a number of the groups–starting with one that pointed out that I’m not alone in being annoyed by this.

Knitting is often perceived as old-fashioned and, in this instance, a waste of time. And knitting, no matter how many men I know who do it, is perceived as a woman’s craft. With so many non-gender tinged automated processes available, and as you’re trying to appeal to people for whom coding has seemed off limits (women frequently fall into that category), there has to have been a better comparison.

**Cross posted to Hedgehog Librarian**

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sock Show Thursday: All Sock Weight

Not all of my projects are sock weight yarn, but everything I think I've actively knit on in hte past few days is.  I picked up most of the collar for the sweater that I'm a collar away from being done with; I'm through the gusset decreases on Cinnamon Sock 1; I finished the toe on the Easter Basket striping socks.

I'm also through the ribbing finally on the green sockhead hat. I'm making it out of Dizzy Blonde Studios Yarn from when she first started dyeing. La, the owner, used to be a part of JenLa which was a podcast or a duo blog, one of the two. I didn't follow it but definitely hopped on the yarn bandwagon.  Now that it's on the stockinette section it's pooling like crazy but it's a good mindless churn and someone will love it.  

I really need to get AudioGirl's boot socks finished up this weekend so I can get them to her on Monday.  Following these I want to get a few more pair of super bulky slipper socks on the needles. It's gratifying to get super bulky knit up quickly and ta-da! Done.

Then it's back to the fingering weight. Let's see. Of the fingering weight yarn that I own presently which could be made into socks (and wouldn't instantly fall apart), I could knit about 42 pair of socks. Now, at least 8-10 pair are destined for other things: I own 5 skeins of x yarn to make into a light cardigan or 2 skeins of y yarn to make into a large shawl, etc etc.  

And some lovely knitters from Seattle have been telling me about stores in their town....

Monday, January 14, 2013

Go In and Out the Yarn Stash

I found somewhere for some of the spare yarn at Chez Hedgehog to go.  There's a group here in Chicago that works with one of the women's prisons and who mentioned on Ravelry that they could use more yarn. They start by teaching the women to knit washcloths, which I agree is a much more tangible project for a beginning knitter than a scarf. So I've pulled together about 3 lbs of cotton (easier than it sounds--I still have a number of cones of bulky weight cotton from a going-out-of-business sale a couple years ago) and a couple of other skeins that have been lurking and looking for a purpose and I have a nice large grocery bag full. That will be dropped off to Loopy Yarns in the south loop as soon as I remember that I need to carry it out the door with me in the morning and don't have anything that evening.

It isn't making a large dent in the get-all-the-stash-back-in-it's-bins, the cotton has it's own top shelf because the bins I bought don't work for the cones, but it does include a few other skeins and the emotional guilt of wondering what I'll do with the yarn is gone.

So, of course, I have new yarn to show you. Because heaven forbid I make it more than a couple days into the new year without buying more yarn.

This is--at least--yarn with a very targeted goal. The Brunette's Husband and I were discussing some new fingerless mitts for him while I was in NY last time. I bought some yarn for the Blonde and the Brunette but B-Husband asked for School Bus Yellow yarn and that's just a little harder to find. Fortunately, the Loopy Ewe has a solid collection that I could pull up on my phone.  Discovering all of his color options, B-Husband asked for Kiwi.

I have three skeins now. I'm going to try to do mitts for him double stranded so that perhaps I can get them done some time this century. Fingering weight mitts are apparently not in my primary forte.

But be proud. I made it in and out of Loopy (sadly, without the cotton) last week and didn't buy any more yarn. I got the new Vogue that has a Franklin Habit sweater in it! I also picked up some wool wash. I was out and there are a lot of socks around here what need scrubbed. I also need to start using the loft to block my shawls.


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Sock Show Thursday: Blogiversary

Can you believe I've been blogging here for three years? I almost missed it and would have except for needing an archival link for another post.  January 10, 2010-January 10, 2013. Three years and a lot of yarn through the needles, mostly socks.

When I started the blog, I had knit four pair of socks I think? Now I'm up to 42 pair if I include the stripey socks I showed you last week that still need a toe finished and two pairs of bulky weight slipper socks that I made for M. That doesn't include the slipper socks that I'm working on for AudioGirl or the new Cinnamon Socks that I cast on earlier this week. I'm working on the heel of the first one.

Hey, I should probably show you a picture of those, shouldn't I?

These are out of Dream in Color Smooshy in the Cinnamon Colorway and I think this might be the first time I've used this yarn. I have a few skeins of the DIC Starry that is lurking about the stash in search of a project but I don't recall using smooshy before. I wound this yarn up in October and had it in a project bag ready to go when I next ran out of socks. I find doing this periodically helps me get through some sock yarn that I might not otherwise knit and certainly helps to prevent my occasional rounds stash tosses when I can't find something to work that I want to work on. Knowing I can set down my current sock for another one, and that I have some socks ready and waiting is comforting. It also let's me switch gears depending on what event I have to go to. Public knitting and figuring out where I need to put the toe of a sock rarely seems to work well.

Thanks for hanging around for the yards and yards of sock yarn that have turned into vanilla ribbed socks. Because they are my mindless knitting, at this point I can't promise much of a planned change in the new year, but I am making a very small dent in the amount of fingering weight yarn on the shelves and hopefully I can keep up the enthusiasm.

I did just have another round of winding up yarn to get ready for more socks, so I need to show you those skeins that are coming up soon.  As soon as I can find a half hour to take pictures.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Sock Show Thursday: What Remains to Be Knit

I didn't quite make it through the last toe of the last sock of 2012 by the end of NYE, despite valiantly carrying the project bag around the party. I can't imagine why that didn't work. Just because I had snacks in one hand and ginger champagne in the other.  I did manage to keep leaving the project bag places when I paused for photos, more snacks, etc--and the Philosopher and other guests kept finding it and returning it to my arm.  None of them knit a few rows before returning it, and there were at least two other knitters there.  So disappointing.

Apr17 027Anyway, you've not seen these as yet. They're part of that "Oh, look at the 50% off sale on KPPPM" that I ran into in April 2011. This stuff calls itself fingering weight but I'd say that needs to be with the word light ahead of it. I can't knit it on anything thicker than size 0 needles. At least it stripes interestingly though!

This unnamed colorway I called Flower Basket. It's got a nice primary blue with pink/red and yellow and green.






And here's proof that I almost have two complete socks!




The striping is just that apparent in person so these are destined for a stripe lover. 











I checked the sizing and I'm just to the point that I need to knit the toe on these. Normally that'd be an easy train ride home but the highs in Chicago have been less than freezing and I haven't quite found a way to make mittens compatible with knitting.




Oh, one other thing I'll note. The heel and toe portions of these have been knit with Rosewood DPNs that Sibling-the-Elder got me for my birthday! They're so incredibly flexible--it's very different from my usual metal needles. Also, I've learned I have to be very careful where I stuff the bag, accidentally broke one.  If you have an especially tight hand, you might want to use only larger sizes.