Saturday, May 29, 2010

Time Travel

How do you measure travel time? Miles? Or Minutes? Or Rows?

I most often use time.. It is meaningless to say my Babylon knitting group is X miles away –
first off, the distance changes—for 2 reasons.

First, I often combine errands with my travel time.. (and a mile detour WEST add 2 miles to the total distance) and the distance varies by the road taken.

The LIE is a shorter, but often less pleasurable drive. The mileage is significantly different-- 3 miles!

The parkways: a collection, the Grand Central, that change names as it crosses the county line and becomes the Norther State, and from there the Wantaug State, and from there the Southern State before I exit for local roads (109 East) are pleasurable—but meander and slowly but surely rack up extra miles.

Same goes for work. As the crow flies, I am about 12 miles from where I work.

If I drove-- it would be 15 or so miles. I live on Long Island (No I don't!, I live in Queens, and NY, politics trumps mere geography!) so I need to cross a bridge—the closest to me on the Queens side is actually a tunnel (Mid town tunnel) and has a toll.

Next is the 59th Street (aka Queensboro) Bridge—Free! And really not out of the way, since I work at 103rd. The Triboro bridge is further in miles, but faster in time to get to –but it over shoots the distsance—It comes into Manhattan at 125th Street—to far north on both sides of the East River

But any of these routes—on a week day is easily a hour's drive! (and parking? In Manhattan?!)

The subway isn't very direct either—I take the R—which meanders a bit in queens, and then comes into Manhattan at 61st –and goes cross town and end up at Broadway (where I want to be!) and 57th street. But there isn't a direct connect at that point to trains north.

In order for me to connect to the uptown Broadway trains, I need to go a mile south (to 42nd street) and then double back to on my way to 103rd. About an hour, door to door—with 2 blocks walk to the subway, and 2 blocks walk from the subway, and single block's walk changing trains.

The other way to measure the distance is this:
From home to 42nd street—20 complete rows of the heel flap.
From 42nd street to work –2 more sets 24 rows in total so far.

Before work, the socks had cuffs and legs, (see photo; by the time I got to work most of the heel flaps were completed. Before I leave this after noon, the flaps will be completed, and going home will see the heels turned, and the gussets picked up.

At home, the bed socks (a project for a fund raiser) have toes.. and nothing else. But that will change too.

Friday, May 28, 2010

When God Closes a Door

He opens a window—or so said Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

Whether or not you believe in god, it is true that there are opportunities all around, and being open to the possibilities is what is important. When ever a door closes in your life, you have to look for the open windows of opportunity.

My current job (a 3 month temporary position I took 22 months ago!) is coming to an end--and unlike the 6 week of unpaid leave i had last year at this time, this end is a real end, not a furlough.

It's a holiday weekend for most, but for me, it's work today, work tomorrow, and work on Monday. Its an easy choice to make—since there will be no work in June.

Wait—there is an exception to that-but it is volunteer work.

For the past 5? 7?(I really don't know how many!) years, the The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) has sponsored Stitch & Pitch—Combining knitting and crochet and Baseball.

I thought it was a great idea—but wasn't very interested for the most part. There are lots of places and group that I can join and knit with for free. I am not much of a baseball fan to begin with—and Stitch & Pitch in NYC has been as Mets games.

While I live in Queen's (with walking distance!) of the Met's stadium (OK, its a long walk, but..) I am not a Met's fan. I grew up in the Bronx and its the Yankee's for me.

But 2 years ago, I finally went to Shea Stadium for the very first time—Just before they tore it down, and what got me there was Stitch & Pitch! --(MLB--take NOTE!This program bring in people who previously hadn't come to MLB games!)

I hadn't planned to go this year, but a window opened!
This year, the Met's Citifield is not only going to be hosting Stitch & Pitch, but also an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for having the most people crochet at one place, at one time.

And Libby—Publicist for The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) has her hands full getting it all to come together. So I have joined as volunteer to help. I get a free ticket as comp, and I get to do what I like best, interact with knitters and crocheters, (and the game? Well, the game is a bonus) This will be my first visit to the new CitiField, too!

I hear (and this is from the horses mouth!) that over 500 tickets have been sold for the Stitch & Pitch, and there are still some available. Do you have yours yet?

Don't you want to be able to brag, I am in the Guinness Book of World Records?
You can still purchase tickets—at the Met's box office, or at a number of LYS in NYC.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gad-About Town

That me lately.

Monday, dinner with Chia and Sean. (Have you looked up and seen Saturn?)

Tuesday, knit night at LIC (and played nice and gave Randi and Kimberly lifts home.)

Last night out again, with a friend—for a regular dinner (economy!) out.

Knitting has been confined to work—and my subway ride home. Still, I have 4.5 inches of the leg done, and I still think I will be able to finish these socks up by close of day MONDAY- May 31st.

It really doesn't matter if I do, or don't—It's just a goal I set for myself. I just want to finish these, and start another pair! I keep jotting down ideas--(and the list grows and grows.)

Top down, toe up—foot first, afterthought leg as Cat Bordhi suggests, diagonally, spirally, colorfully, economically, extravagantly, practically—every possible way to knit socks excites me!

And in the background—I am doing a bunch of things too.. Documenting some of my designs, editting others to make them clearer, and easier to read, writing and writing and organizing and organizing.

I tend to do work like this in a clump—and then let things slowly devolve to chaos--and chaos is near!

Summer is here –the official beginning of summer in US is Memorial day weekend—forget the cosmic change of seasons. (Summer ends before the vernal equanox—at labor day) So the pool (all newly renovated and spiffed up) opens Friday. And this summer, I am going to start bike riding—again after years and year of not doing it. I plan to start slow—15 minutes at time, and build up muscles and stamina—and to make bike riding a regular part of my exersize routine.

I don't like exercise routines. But I do like bike riding—which is fun, not exercise.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Creativity, Practicality, and Socks.

My DIL is a fiber artist. So is my friend Robyn. I am not an artist.

It's not that I am not creative, (I am) but I see my creativity more as an engineering activity, than as art.

I want and need know how things are constructed, and then when I understand the structural elements, I want to re-engineer them. The result is creativity, but not art. I often value function- over beauty —not that I don't aim for beauty as well —a well engineering product is beautiful! But frequently, beauty is not my primary (or even secondary!) goal.

Last night, I had the pleasure of looking through Cat Bordhi's new book Personal Footprints.
I find her ideas interesting —and I will likely try her process out. I like how she engineered the design.

I doubt I will adopt it as my general style of knitting socks —since I like experimenting with different heels and toes, and directions —I would become bored making the same style over and over again.

Maybe, if I had to knit socks for a growing family, and needed to churn them out, like a machine, (oh, wait, I do that now!) I would be would adapt a basic style and use it all the time. But I don't need to churn out socks.. I knit socks for pleasure, and my part of the pleasure for me, is change!

I have been for some time now knitting a lot of socks. And at this point, I know, I will continue knitting socks for some months. Not exclusively, perhaps, but most definitely frequently.

I am caught in a creative loop, and I don't want to end it –well not yet.

I find yarn, knit a sock, and even if I am happy with it, I realize, it could have been better.
So I make another pair, and resolve issue one, but this often creates a less than perfect solution. So I do it again. Each pair I knit, opens up avenues for other designs—both in the artistic sense, and in the architectural sense.

I like color, and plan a Roy G Biv sock.. and I have been thinking about how I am going to handle the stripes.
I know, I tend to like socks a certain height, and with a certain gauge (I know my gauge in Kroy yarn) –so I know that I will have about 80 or so rows to work with in the leg. (80 rounds after the cuff.)

If I want to space the colors out, and have a neutral color between them, and I have 8 colors.. then my stripes need to be spaced out to fit (reasonably coherently) in those 80 rows.

I could make narrow stripes, and have 2 repeats of a pattern, or wider ones, and a single pattern/color way repeat. I could make chevrons (and this will make the stripes seem wider) or I could have the colors bleed from one shade to another, with minimal grey/neutral –just a cuff, a heel, a toe! I need to think, how am I going to handle the foot? The same stripes? Or the instep in color, and the sole in the grey? (and this then creates engineering issues!)

But thinking about these 8 colors and how they will be striped (horizontally!) lead me to think about the idea of using 8 yarns in a single sock. And gave me an idea for using up some of my sock yarn scraps—and the idea of Crazy Eights was born. It is still fermenting... but it will definitely be a more vertical stripe—and will definitely have a single color separating the other stripes.. (that is a solid unifying element between the vertical elements.)

Each idea I have begets another idea for a sock—another spin off of the Roy G Biv socks will be a pair of gradient color socks, and all this color work will tire my eyes, and some simpler mono chromatic, or lower contrast socks will be required to rest them.. Plainer colors, will require fancier stitch work! That is another element of engineering design.

Finally, there is the underlying goal of making socks that match the clothing I own --Crazy Eights will be worn on black days—black skirt, black T, black sneakers, and wild socks!

Long ago, before I started keeping an organized record on Ravelry, and before I started blogging (part of the reason for blogging was to keep a written and photographic record) I started (very late in my knitting life) a photo album on Photobucket. (this one predates my newer photo album on Face book.)

The Sock album has 18 pages, and each page has 8 images. (144 images!) this doesn't quite represent 12 dozen pairs of socks, since there are detail documented as well as whole pairs. And it doesn't included my most recent socks either!

Start at the last page, and work forward—see how my sock knitting has evolved—the early socks were often very pretty, but not always as functional. Then came a period of very functional, but not very pretty. Now, I am better at integrating form, function and artistry. (the last element is subjective, but I like how my socks look!)

The FaceBook album offer a record of socks of my most recent collection of experiments, but there is a good deal of overlap from the Photobucket collection.

I knit my first pair of socks when I was a teen (a lovely pair of argyles—that looked pretty, but were unwearable!) and I expect I will knit socks for many more years to come—Certainly they will be an obsession for the foreseeable future!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A Token Photo

Here it is.. The first inch of the next sock-- A Crowning Achievement.

It's a bit slow going right now—every other row is increased/decreases, to make very peaked chevrons. I used a channel island cast on, and I love how it accentuates the zig zag edge.

Chevrons (as any one who ever knit Jaywalkers knows) compacts the knitting, so instead of my standard (with Kroy) 60 stitch cast on, I cast on 80 (33% more stitches!) so right now, each row is longer, too.

After another inch or so of the chevrons, I will end with a row of decreases, not balanced with increases and decrease 16 stitches in one round—down to a count of 64. Then I'll work an inch or so before working another set of decreases, twice, to get to the final correct count.

I am thinking, too, of jazzing these up with a small clock pattern just above the heel—one echoing the chevron of the cast on. But, mostly these socks are going to be plain stocking knit –fast and easy to knit.

I should have a dozen or so more photos—Last night I was out to dinner with Chia and BF Sean.
Chia was one of the early members of the LICKnits group--a group that has over the years had knitter after knitter MOVE! Anya, the founding member, Marizta, Chia, Susan, Kat, Melissa (tall), Colette, and others!-- No one quits the group, they just have lives, and their lives take them places far away.

We went to dinner at a place Chia found in Astoria—Ornella's a small but wonderful Italian place.
The menu offered the simple classical spaghetti and meat balls (for Sean) or Spaghetti Carbonana (me) or the incredible chestnut flour pasta with mushrooms and shrimps--(the place is worth a trip just for the chestnut pasta!) that Chia had.

There was good bread, and free mini appetizer of a tomato salad on crisp garlic-y croutons.

The desserts were special too.. A lovely flan--(though I really dislike sweet custards) a tiramisu, and light, but rich chocolate mouse cake. And a bonus—we were presented with a slice of a creamy cake with eggplant and chocolate.

I know, the eggplant, like the tomato, is technically a fruit, not a vegetable. But like the tomato, it's almost always treated as something savory, not something fruity. And I've heard of tomato cakes –but never of a eggplant cake. The eggplant was used as filling between the layers of cake—and the cake was garnished with chocolate. Not in a million years would I have thought to make a cake of eggplant and chocolate. The cake is not a regular item on the menu—but if it is offered, try it! Even Sean, who has a somewhat adverse relationship with vegetable thought it was good.

After dinner, a short stroll—and we found Patrick—who had set up his small telescope on the corner of Ditmars Blvd and 31st Street (the M (metro) symbol on the map below).

View Larger Map

He was offering visions of Saturn. Which is visible to the naked eye--(that is, to my naked eye, and my vision isn't the best!) even in the light washed skies of NY (with a near full moon in the sky too!) But you can't see anything but a bright spot of light with the naked eye. The telescope brought to life the beauty and rings!

When we all ooh'd and aah'd over that, he turned the lens to the gibbious moon. The craters on the south pole where breathtakingly clear and well defined by light and shadow.. Oh what a night.

I was there—in the present—and while I had my camera with me—I never thought to take it out! Even Chia and Sean who had planned to take photo's of the food--forgot! The dessert were half eaten before they remembered.

Monday, May 24, 2010

You Know the Song--

Sugar in the morning,
Sugar in the evening,
Sugar at suppertime....

Or as I have been singing it,
Socks in the morning
Socks in the evening
Socks after suppertime!

Cross Purposes got finished Sunday (not Saturday)--and I immediately cast on another pair of socks.. 2 pairs, actually.

Pair 1 is yet another one Patons Kroy—Tangerine color way—a lovely blend of pastels. They are being knit top down, with a fancy cuff, and then stocking knit, letting the jacquard stripe pattern of the yarn do the work.

The tangerine orange is just a pale orange with just hint of coral—mixed with blue and green and a touch of shell pink. The colors make them a good fit for my “socks to match clothes' goal!
These will be my knitting to and fro and at work socks.

Pair 2 is machine washable wool, worsted weigh, being knit on size 5 needles, toe up. A pair of bed socks for foot care package that will be a fundraiser for DD Avon Run Walk. The needles feel huge! These will be a fast to knit pair of socks--my at home project.

When not knitting socks, I am documenting how to knit them—I want to do more of this—for sock and for other designs.

A few years ago, I had a similar obsession with hats for a while. I noticed it, but I didn't worry about it. After a zillion hats, I got over it. I documented directions for a number of hats—and I want to organize these too.

Tonight, my plan is to wind up all the skeins of Saturday's sock yarn stash.
I resold (at the smallest of profits) —10 of the skeins (each was $2.99 ($29.90) I sold them for $32-) leaving me with 12—2 of each color, and 3 of the blue (my favorite color way of the group), and 3 of the wine red; these sets of 3 might become a small shawl. Each skein is 195 yard, 585 yards is good amount for a shawl. I have a fair amount of red/wine/rose clothing.. but I also have lots of red socks. I don't think i can have too many blue socks--(will denim ever be out of style?)

I might (should I?) go back and get another skein or two.. It would be nice to have both socks and shawl in the blue. But I am afraid if I do, I'll find some other yarn that will force its self into my stash—a stash that is SABLE—(Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy!) made partially for 2 former knitters SABLE. It's a wonderful stash—I really should knit it, and not buy more yarn.

I knit fast, but I can buy yarn so much faster than I can knit it.. I need to keep out of Smiley's when they are having a sale.

But in the grand tradition of sock yarn not counting as part of stash, sock yarn I can justify buying, since there was no sock yarn in the SABLE I've inherited. Mohair, yes, Noro, yes, smooth wools, yes, thick and thin wools, yes, angora, yes, silk, yes, but sock yarns? NO. And since sock yarn doesn't count; well, no guilt!

Speaking of denim (as I did above) I stopped at a garage sale and got a bunch of fat quarters --in various shades and weights of denim. Some dark, heavy weight and stiff, some softer and faded, but just as heavy a cotton, and others in a soft and drapy cotton that is a light weight denim--in both light (fade) and dark denim blue. A real mixed bag--a very cheap bag, too!

The crafter had planned a denim quilt--so there are just a few of each color/weight-but I have a plan.

It will just take a few of the fat quarters to make a long, gored skirt yoke (and pockets.) Then the skirt will be finished(ie made a decent length!) with a handkerchief hem of bandanas. I might end up 2 or 3 similar skirts--since bandanas come in so many colors! (and I have enough fat quarters to make a few yokes!) a matching bandana worn with a T or a camp shirt (I have lots of them.. remember?) and it will border on being a too matchy-matchy outfit. But still the price is right, and they will be easy enough to make!

Long, long ago, (when bandanas sold 4 for $1!) I made a dress from a dozen--and loved it. I am older, and bandanas are now $1 each--but I think I will be just as happy with these skirts--I really have to get back to sewing!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Yarn Happens --or unavoided occations of SIN

I knew it would. I knew this was going to be a SIN (Stash Increasing) Full week end. And it was.

Friday found me at the Socktacular--(did I take a photo? No!) The turn out was huge—people came and went, but easily 50 people-- there were lots of chairs and seats, but it was standing room only for most of the event.

I know I can buy LB Sock Ease as P &S (a LYS in Manhattan) for $7.99 (20% of the list price) any time I want—but I don't often get down there.

And I really appreciate the Lion Brand Studio, and the effort made to do this. So 3 skeins (at 10% off for the event) came home with me. The hard part was which ones.. Purple--I knew for sure.. and the teal, it was a pretty safe bet, too, but #3? Would it be the brown? Or the white to hand paint or dye to another color? The red ocher (circus peanut)? It was so much prettier in person than the photo would suggest.

In the end—as you see, green apple. Each skien of the LB make 1 pair (and more) of socks. I have 3 more skeins of the not solid, not really striped Sock Ease/the taffy (taupe) the Toffee (teal blue) and the Sour Ball (lime green) and these solids coordinate well with the solids. –so there are options for stripes, or contrasting borders, or fair isle, or.. well lots of options.

Plus I often mix and match different brands of sock yarns together—I use my Wraps per Inch tool to make sure the are comparable. And I have a lighter shade of purple, and light shade of green solids and my home dyed skein of purple, teal, green and blues.. just 50% of the hand dyed, so I will need some solids to work with the yarn..

Friday was the start of the SIN—this morning, its was SIN again! I headed to Smiley's Yarns. And stepped in it!
First Sock yarn –this is what I went for. Filatura Lanarota Fashion Toes. 90% merino, 10%nylon—50 gm/195 yard skeins. Lovely Stuff!

I loved the red (a deep wine red) and the blue (with bits of purple and teal) –and was ho hum about the ocher and olives. But thinking about it—I have a way to many red socks already—and lots of blue (OK, blue goes with denim, and half my wardrobe is denim and I can always find a use for blue socks.)

The ocher and olive, I was ho hum about. But thought for a moment and realized, I have lots of greens and and browns, and ochers (and my DIL wears these colors almost exclusively) and I really needed this color way.


The other color ways are bright jewel tones, and will match any number of things (sort of) but I do love the color ways!



My plan was to just buy the sock yarn.. that was it.. but I stumble (literally!) and fell into a carton of this.. 80/20 super wash wool and nylon, 10 skeins for $8 (not even a dollar a skein!) And look at the name (and the manufacturer!) Impullso (I don't need to know Italian to translate the name!)

So it came home with me. Now, do I make something for me? (the label suggest 9 balls for medium, long sleeved sweater. I have 10 (but I am not size medium) —or do I make something for Grand daughter? ( maybe a sweater for her, and (something!) for me? I'll chose on an impulse!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Baa, baa Black Sheep, have you any wool?

I don't know about the black sheep, but I have 4 bags full--and then some!

These are the yarns for my upcoming socks in my self made sock club.

1 bag with Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn, and printed out directions to Skew. (hiding in the back)

1 bag with 2 balls of Red Heart Heart & Sole—tequela sunrise color way-- a bit orange, a bit coral (I have coral!) a bunch of other sunny, intense colors! (also in the back of image)

1 bag with 2 balls of Kroy Jacquard in Tangerine color way—a pastel orange with hints of pink—not quite coral, but a redish orange all the same. The pastels seem very summery. I have several sock that are autumnal—a few spring color ways are also needed.

1 bag with 2 balls of Kroy Fx—Clover color way—I see it as mostly green in the skein; but, having seen it knit up, it is quite colorful —and not very green at all--but green enough! I have lots of green in my wardrobe!--plus my forest green socks persist in hiding (maybe I've lost them?)

At this moment, the Kroy Jacquard in Tangerine is leading the pack. I have a lot of coral in my wardrobe—and right now, not a single pair of socks with coral. Since my goal it to have socks that match clothes, knitting up this yarn next is no brainer. (D'oh!) And is a self patterning yarn, so I can just make a generic sock and let the yarn do the heavy work. (Tangerine is on page 4/link above)

Close behind the bagged collection--the Roy G Biv socks. The yarns are assembled –(in a zip lock bag), but not yet divided. The background color still hasn't been finalized, though dark grey is in the lead. I think black won't offer enough contrast to the indigo or purple; while white will wash out the colors, and taupe (light taupe (aka oatmeal) and dark taupe (flax) have other (planned!) uses. Whether the colors will be knit as simple stripes or chevrons, or some sort of pattern –well there is time enough to make that decision.

Crazy Eight socks are continuing to ferment--but almost don't count—since they will be knit from scraps, not stash. The zesty orange peko (bo) socks (5+ years old and never yet worn!) are very pretty. I really like the stitch pattern and effect--even if the sock themselves don't match anything.

Maybe I need a citrus collection—with some lime green sock yarn (with other colors) becoming a lime rickie sock, and the yellow (more of the Kroy yellow) becoming a lemon fizz sock. The pattern for these socks is already documented. I want to see how the pattern looks worked in different yarns and color ways--and then maybe put it up for sale.

I really need to use up some of this yarn (and fast!) since these weekend is shaping up to be one with a potential for SIN (stash increases!)

Lion Brand is having a Socktacular, and has also just launched 7 new solid colors of Sock Ease. Just the thing! --I am, (roy g biv, not withstanding) short on solids in sock yarns. And I like every color.

And Smiley's is having a sale, too, with Lanfilarota Fashion Toes sock yarn at $3 a skein! That's less than the best sale price of Kroy! The put up is bigger, and yarn is 90/10 merino/nylon—with just lovely colors. At $6 for a pair of socks--well I don't have enough for 10 pairs.. but 2? I can manage 2, even 3 pairs at that price! There is no sales tax on clothing in NYC--nor for fabric for clothing, or yarn for clothing. 6 skeins, (3 pairs of socks) will be less than $20. (I am heading to Smiley's Saturday AM--will I see you there, too?)

Smiley's is just about a neighborhood store for me. Not with in walking distance (thank the powers that be!) but close enough! I haven't been there in over a year—it's a dangerous store to go into—So much yarn, so little money needed to buy it –(over 90% of Smiley's yarns are $2.99 or less—and yes, half the store is synthetic (a complete color collection of Red Heart super saver) But the other half has some wonderful yarns—alpacas, silk blends, quality cottons, and 100% wools. Enough of a selection to make a yarn snob squeal.

The worst of it is, I worked extra hours last week, and even with putting a bit aside for a rainy day, I have dollars that are crying out to become sock yarn. MONEY and SALES! A deadly combination if there ever was one! If I am really lucky, I will win one of the raffles at the Socktacular and have a free ball of yarn to work with—but I am not counting on it.

My current socks (on needles) are Kroy Stripes (mullberry color way) in my Cross Purposes pattern. They are chugging along. I started them late on the 15th—and they showing evidence of being finished by the 22nd.

I am still liking this pattern (These are the 3rd pair knit from this pattern in 2 months and that alone is an impressive statement.)

If I end up finishing them this weekend, I will still have a week and bit to get a third pair knit this month. A plain generic sock knit in a pretty self striping pattern will fit the bill nicely.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Every Day Art and Jewelry

One of the pleasured of my life, is every day art. From the floral photography in my mass produced calendar, to the tiled art that adorns the subway wall( I have photographed some of the work at 42nd Street, but there is more—almost every platform, at every station has some.), to the sculpture that is plopped down, as a temporary exhibit!

I don't know when it was installed –but I first noticed this piece on Saturday, May 15th.
(there were no parking signs on Friday, maybe it was installed then, I just didn't see it Friday evening)

It's pretty hard to miss—it is huge.

Broadway (and many streets in NYCity) aren't just streets—in many cases, they are roofs!
The subway runs under (one line or another) Broadway most of its length. The malls in uptown(center medians in the roadway), are roof gardens. Occationally, like at 103rd Street—the all to solid seeming ground becomes a metal grid, that allows some light and fresh air into the subway station below, reminding everyone.

For most of the winter, large concrete planters with evergreens have been sitting on the mall just south of the 103rd—a part of the mall that is an open grid to subway station below. But now –Regina II is holding court.

She is looking North, and greets me each morning as I come out of the subway. Yesterday I made her acquaintance, and remembered to capture her image. How wonderful that art comes to me!

I am still knitting version 2 of the Cross Purposes Socks—in the mullbery color way (and documenting the details of the pattern) and not knitting much at home. So there isn't much to report (4 inches of cuff and leg).

Instead of knitting in the evening, I have been playing the 5 year old, and stringing some beads on line. Glass, and resin, and semi precious stones (no, not jade, aventurine—a pretty, but much less valuable stone-quartz!) and bone (not ivory) strung onto wire or chain. Not much more than what a 5 year old does—it is just not pasta or wooden beads. A small effort is made to add a real clasp—something most 5 year olds don't do—but its not very fancy jewelry—just everyday stuff.

The earings are a bit more of an effort-- and there are little itty bitty baggies with all the components for more earings (these are just the start--the ones that have been completed.) Many more to come—many of them for the planned crafty fund raiser for DD. Unsold ones will become mine and DD's.

If you like these, you will really like Sulu's earing--(so much better!) and always something new in her etsy shop. Susan used to be a member of the Tueday knit night in LIC--till she up and moved cross country!

2 new shawl pins got put together too. (Now all I need to do is knit a shawl!)




Monday, May 17, 2010

Seen Here LAST

Over on thread in Ravelry I mentioned I had made use of Yarn Harlot's Sock club idea—and put together some sock kits. An idea seen here last (maybe not last, but most definitely not first!).

Yarn Harlots idea was for a dozen zip lock bags (gal size) packed with:
Sock yarn (already divided if you work 2 at time)
A pattern (already printed out, and in page protectors if you use them)
A LARGE PRINT list of notions and needles needed--so its easy to read (and grab)

She made up a dozen—and put them on a shelf. Now each month, she has a sock kit waiting for her to knit. It's not a palidrome, (A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!) but it is a good idea.

You can sub any clear bag for the zip lock, --or even small brown bag (a lunch bag) —and grab yourself a surprise! (You might remember this month all the kits you packed last month, but 6 months from now? )

I've taken to planning a pair or two ahead—and packaging up yarn, a notation on a pattern idea (since I rarely use a pattern—unless I am test knitting one of my own patterns!)--a set of needles (I have several duplicate in the same size, and work with different sizes (anything from a 0(zero) to size 2) and a card noting what else is needed. (markers, etc)--which could include a cable needle, or a length of waste yarn for an after thought heel. My small notions bag with a tapestry needle, gauge tool and a tape measure, automatically gets moved.

The next kit to be assembled will be my Roy G Biv socks--this is a lot of work, 7 small skeins of the roy g biv colors, and another skein of background color –and everthing is doubled (so its 14 small skeins of colors, 2 medium skeins of base/background color) since I always knit socks 2 on 2. (I have a SKEW kit, and another simple sock kit already put together)

Right now, I am contemplating the Roy G Biv socks—straight simple stripes? Or small chevrons? Or pattern of boxes or diamonds of color... or should I spell out Red in red, and Yellow in yellow? Or use a slip stitch pattern? So many options to think about just with the colors.

Then, yesterday—as I was thinking about these 8 yarns, I had and idea to use up a bunch my scraps of yarn. (I almost always have extra left over)
A pair of Crazy 8 socks. With 8 vertical stripes--definitely Vertical stripes—some solids, some self striping. Should the stripes be plain? Should they be flat, or raised I cords? Straight, or spiraling? Thick and thin? Or maybe cabled with big wide crosses (traveling stitches) to make a bunch of 8's!? And how will I knit them? Flat and seamed, or in the round? Problems to resolve with vertical stripes.

For me, half the fun of knitting socks is planning the design—and YH's idea lets me play with my yarn longer. Plus-- it helps me keep track of ideas, and get them knit (in real life, not just in my imagination!)

One member of the knitting police told me I had too many socks. (if you haven't checked, my FaceBook sock album now has 45 pairs on display(51 images, but just 45 pairs of socks)
Still to be photographed, the 3 pairs,( waiting to be washed) and 1 pair (still in hiding) -- Over 4 dozen (OK, so 2 pairs aren't mine, leaving me 1 pair short of 4 dozen (something that is already being remedied!)
And, this doesn't include the artless cotton socks I wear to and from the pool –junk socks just something to wear with croc style slip on's)--nor does it include the half dozen or so singles (from when I knit socks singly—and often never got a second sock knit!)

Why is 48 pairs too many? What is the right number? (Is there a right number?) How many socks do you have? How many have you knit?
In the past 10 years, I also knit 2 dozen pairs for gifts and charity; 2, for me, 1 for someone else. Not a bad ratio. I don't feel the least bit guilty owning 4 dozen pairs of hand knit socks.

Oh yeah—Finished--Cotton Candy socks.. (5 inches tall in leg/cuff--short, but enough.
And Started (see, it matches clothes—the color in the corner is just one of 3 T's I have in this color (all slightly different) ) And I am documenting the pattern, too.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Yards to Go

Before this mornings commute, 2 complete pattern repeats after the heel. And skeins of yarn that were small. Delays, and delays, (and I got to work 10 minutes late), there are now 7 rows (of an 8 row pattern) of the repeat number 3 completed--and, thankfully!, I haven't run out of yarn.

When round 8 is done, R1, (K2, P2) will be repeated till all the yarn is knit up. Just 2 or 3 rounds I expect! The problem now is; if I finish them off at work, I have nothing else to knit on the way home! I wasn't thinking and left the house with this project, and I should have brought something else to knit.
(NOTE--44 socks now in Facebook album-- (3 more to photograph, 1 more pair to find) 2 of the pairs aren't mine (one pair for a fund raiser, one pair for Miss B, my grand daughter))

I might have finished them last night, but after work, I headed off to see my DD—who was hard at work updating her kitchen. Ultimately the plan is for new cabinets and new appliances, but she is one of the victims of the economic downturn, and has been unemployed for the past few months.

She's has temp'd a few days here and there, and she's a smart cookie—and has some savings—and she has used the time off to go to school--(she only a few credits away from completion now of her degree in massage, AND has become a certified trainer.) So she is prepared to change careers—and is trying to hold out with some part time work till she is fully qualified.

But being out of work delayed a planned complete kitchen redo. Removing the 30 year old wall paper, washing the walls and ceilings updating the look is a stop gap measure—but it really looks good.

Marigold yellow paint, mint green trim on window and door, a mint green curtain (the old, dingy white one dyed!) and a can of spray paint to turn all (mostly while, but not all white!) shelves and brackets for hanging plants and tiered baskets a bright red.

Kitchen notions, (measuring cups, strainers, etc) are already 'crayon' colors of red, orange, green-- and recycled mason jars –(her canistors for pop-corn, rice, and other staples) now have red lids, too. I supplied a new outlet plate--(new outlets will be installed, too) and will also provide a new red towel set and some Yellow/orange/red double knit pot holders! All the fun detail new or new looking.

A few days of hard work, and her very dated looking kitchen has a new look—Bright and sunny! For very little money (the paint is all left over from other rooms/projects!) it isn't fully modernized; the old knotty pine cabinets (from the mid 1950's) still look very dated, and aren't the most funtional, but all in all, it looks better!

In addition to the outlet plate cover, I brought her a foot care package(and some other goodies)
The foot care package has foot soak salts, an exfoliating scrub, Shea butter lotion, and callus rasp —DD working to being a massause, and can't have long nails—but as she says, she can have the prettiest, softest feet, and painted toes! (and she frequently wears open toe shoes and strap-ee sandles to show off her feet!) and a foot care set is just the reward she needed.

I have another foot care package for her fund raiser later in the year—the kit for the fund raiser will be in a pretty storage bag, and will include a pair of slippers, and a pair of hand knit bed socks –knit with DK weight yarn—not so fine or fancy as regular socks, --at 7 stitches per inch (vs 8 to 8.5, to 9 stitches per inch for normal sock) bed socks will be a quick knit; but still a luxurious extra!

One of the other goodies for DD was 1.5 yards of white denim. DD is learning how to sew—and it's plenty for summer skirt—another project for her when she doesn't have any temp work. New clothes, for free, made in free time!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Yarn Pron

Three (of 5) skeins of Rowan Summer tweed (silk and cotton) and 2 skeins of Koigu in a very similar shade.

The 5 skeins of Rowan will morph into a cropped summer sweater (with short sleeves). The Koigu will become (most likely not till next year!) a pair of socks.

How can I even think about more socks!? Some more camera shy socks got photographed; 43 pairs in the photo album, 3 pairs (in laundry) to photograph, 1 and half pair hiding.

Another pair on needles, and 2 more pairs set up to go--one the frogged hand painted yarn, destined to become SKEW, and one set of Kroy Stripes—Mullberry color way, destine up to become another Cross Purposes (improved pattern, also being documented, for anyone who might be interested) ribbed socks.

So tally that up, 43 so far in album, 3 more in wash (46) and 1 (maybe 2) pairs in hiding, 1 pair on needles (and nearing completion) . 4 dozen pairs of socks!

(Some one on Ravelry suggested a goal of 52—a pair for every week!--another suggested as many pairs as years for a goal—that goal might be reached by the end of the year. It could certainly be reached, and even exceeded, by next my birthday!)

There are two other pairs of socks—a pair of bed socks knit in DK weight yarn, and a pair of stirrup socks (no toes, no heels; a simple to knit ribbed tube!) that are also on the agenda for fund raising/charity projects. Both of those socks will be fast knits—and don't count! I might even make a third pair of socks; short cuffs, and no toes; pedicure style. Since socks like these are worn with flip flops, I could use a thicker yarn (Sports weight) and knit them up on size 3's. Worn with flip flops, it wouldn't matter if they were a bit bulky. They too, would be for fund raising.

Meanwhile, Cotton Candy socks continue to stack up.
Heels (gusset) are done—and now things slow down a bit.

The stitch pattern is a rib—but one that changes—shape and count.
R1, is K2, P2, (64 stitches of it; 16 repeat of a 4 stitch pattern.)
R2 is working the 2 K's together, K, YO, K,YO, K (5 stitches) into the K2tog, P2 (that is 16 repeats of a 7 stitch pattern—or 112 stitches! Almost double the number of stitches.
R4, R6, R8 are decrease R's—until I am, once again, at 64.

When I was working on the foot, Only half the stitches were worked in the pattern and 64 stitches expanded to 88. 56stitches on the instep every 8th round, (32 on the sole remain constant)

The cake of yarn are rapidly becoming smaller and smaller, and are hollowed out shells of their former selves. I am 1 full pattern repeat past the heel shaping, and each repeat is .75 of an inch.

I think I have enough yarn for another 2 full repeats, and then a short ribbed cuff. So these socks will be short ones—just 3 inches of leg/cuff, not the more usual 6 (or more) inches. But since the yarn was free (to me) that's fine! Besides, my goal was to have them finished today—so no real complaints that I am almost out of yarn.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

An Out of Control Obsession

I have been having fun every morning this week, taking new photographs of old socks—Modeled on the new manikin legs, natch!

I haven't finished. Sometimes, I think I've taken a photograph but for what ever reason I didn't (nor did I think to double check!) I think it is that some socks are camera shy. One pair -forest green ones, are so camera shy I can't find them!

A few more pairs got worn, but not washed before I started this re-imaging project, and are out of the running for being photographed right now. They will have to wait a bit before being photographed- since I don't think they will be washed this weekend. And the lone Regia silk sock remains partner-less. I just know if I throw it out, I will find the mate the very next day!

But in spite of the setbacks, I have managed to photograph 39 pairs of socks. There are at least 5 more pairs to come--1)My denim stripe socks (I have knit an almost identical pair for Miss B), 2) the taupe and tan and black lace sock, 3) the self striping yarn in RoyGBiv stripes, 4)another self striping mutli color pair, 5) and a grey swirl socks—which will bring the total (minus the forest green) to 44 socks.

And there are the ornate turkish style socks.. I don't think they will look their best on the manikin legs, but I'll try. The turkish style socks have been worn, but they are not in the regular rotation. They are special occation socks!

Some of the socks in the collection are old, and a bit stretched out, with wear. One pair in the collection is about 5 years old—and never been worn!

There are toe up, and cuff down socks,, simple socks, and elaborate detailed ones.

You can see the collection—now, or when it is complete in a week or so, on Facebook, even if you are not on Facebook.

Of course, in another week, the Cotton Candy socks will ready to join the gallery!

The heel is OK—it could be a bit deeper (the bowl and the lid are both too shallow.) It's not so bad that I was tempted to frog and start over. But next time –and there will be a next time!--I'll work more short rows and improve the fit.

They look very loose in this image—but they aren't on my feet and legs. The manikin legs are about a size 6 or maybe a 7, and narrow. Not very narrow, but my feet (peasant feet.. to match my peasant hips) are wide. (I am sure, in a former life, I was a peasant—and I still have the feet and hips to prove it!)

Most of my socks have to be coaxed into looking good on the manikins—eased here and there, to hid the ripples caused by the socks being both too wide and too long to fit properly.

Tomorrow, more progress I hope, on the Cotton Candy socks, and some yarn pron.
Some Koigu fell into my hands, and while Koigu is not in my top 10 of favorite sock yarns, the price was right, and it reminded me, I have 5 skeins of Rowen Summer Tweed, in almost the same color. If the summer tweed turns into a cropped, short sleeve summer jacket, and the Koigu into socks (and then fades!) they will be the perfect match.

But I don't think the Koigu will become socks any time soon. They might not make their debut as socks until next summer. The color is a bit closer to orange than to coral--but.. socks are worn far from my face, and they will be fine, even if they stay a bright color orange.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Boring

I hope not—but I admit it, it's been nothing but socks for weeks now!

And not just here—half of my Facebook updates are about socks, too. Every day I add more images to my knitting album over there. There are 42 images, (representing 38 pairs of socks, and a few details of one or two pairs) I'll have to wait till laundry day to finish up the album, since some pairs are waiting to be washed, or being camera shy in other ways. (Some are totally hiding! I can't for the life of me find my forest green socks, and I am giving up hope of ever finding the mate to the Regia Silk socks (worn only once before one half of the pair went astray).

I have a few dozen socks in my Ravelry Projects--but most of them are socks I've knit since joining Ravelry. I had a few dozen socks from before then.

The last entries in the album will be socks I've knit and given away over the years.

My Cotton Candy pink socks are at the heel—and what a heel it is! Novelty—but if it works out, I might use it again.

It's is a short row heel, but not the common short row heel, which are sort of hour glass shaped.
\.../
/...\
The common short row heel is worked with a series of short rows, starting with one half the total count, and every row, fewer stitches and then reversed-- Of course, the hour glass is folded at the narrow point, and makes a pocket for the heel to nestle into.

These socks have a series of short row.. but I started in the center of the heel, with 6 stitches in the first short row, and increased the number of stitches worked every row. This makes a bowl shape (think of parenthesis–only horizontal, not vertical (I can't find a print character like that, and I am not going to bother drawing one!)

Now, I will do the second parenthesis, and have (.), again, the image should be horizontal, not vertical.
I am calling it the EGG. The rounded bowl, with its match lid, makes nice pocket for the heel too! It is totally counter intuitive to make a heel this way.. but then, that's what makes it a novelty heel!

Wait, there is more! (shade of late night infomercials!)
I started the heel a dozen rows ago, with increases—a dozen or so on the side of the sole of the sock. The bowl is shaped from the center, part of sole--That is, the stitches that existed before the increases.
After the EGG is complete, and I go back to working in the round, I will decrease till I once again have 32 stitches, and leave <<>> either side of the egg.
Something like the architectural trim known as egg and dart molding.
(see a collection of them here!)

Well not exactly like egg and dart molding.. but sort of like. (and not like a dart in clothing!)

I think its going to work out fine.. (the first half of the egg is fine!) You'll have to wait till tomorrow to see how it comes out. (or read about the failure!)

After the heel, it will be straight going, working the shaped rib pattern all round till the cakes of yarn show strong signs of being used up.
Since the stitch pattern is a rib, I could just continue in pattern till the end—but I don't think I will. I don't think I will end up with my usual 1.5 inches of ribbing in the cuff, but there will be some ribbing.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Clown Barf 2 and more on socks

Done, but not finished. The shape is a giant V, and it can be worn with the V in front and wrapped in back and the tail brought to the front.

Or it can be worn with the point of the V in back and tied in front.

Likely it will be worn both ways –at different times.

I've weave in the ends tonight, and it will be finished. And just the thing to wear now—when its 45° in the early morning, when I am leaving for work, and 65° by mid day when I am leaving for home. When I need something more than just a shirt—but I don't want to wear a jacket.

The Cotton candy socks are edging towards seven inches completed. Last night I started to shape the architectural detail heel—it's going to be like a classic trim—Egg and dart.

The dart is a version of my common side gussets that I use in afterthought heels all the time, but bigger.

The egg is going to be a short row oval to further shape the heel. I think it will work.. We'll know in a day or two!

If it doesn't—well all won't be wasted—there are several styles of heels that use increases on the sole for shaping the heel.

You can't really see the beginnings of the dart yet: So here are 6 (and some) repeats of the stacked up cotton candy cones that make up the front of the sock.

I think these socks are going to end up a bit shorter than my usual socks. The reasoning behind the toe up design was to be able to make sure I had a foot that fit, and then to work to the end. The center pull cakes of yarn are looking very hollow—I'm not worried about running out, well, not yet. But I don't think I'll end up with a 9 inch leg/cuff. Maybe a 7 inch one.

And then there are these—a pair of Zesty socks from before Ravelry, and before I blogged.

Patons Kroy sock yarn in a color way that is called just Orange, (IIRC!) Knit with a stitch pattern to look like the textured surface of a orange peel-- I really like these sock: the way the color and the stitch pattern work together, to create something special.

I might end up with some lemon zest socks, and even some lime zest socks. A family of citrus zest socks! The differences between the texture of an orange peel or a lemon peel or lime peel is pretty insignificant.

I love these socks even though I almost never wear orange –and these socks, more than 5 years old, are pristine (unworn!) I love them, but I don't have much occation to wear them--not one in many years!

And in spite of not wearing orange, (and never having worn these orange socks) I still some how managed to end up with 4 more skeins of Kroy in the same color.

Some of the skeins will be over-dyed: with a pink or raspberry food dye to get something close to a coral—and some will be used in the Roy G Biv socks, and some will be used as trim with other colors or stripes.

That's the problem with finding sock yarn remaindered and on sale (in one case, bandless and marked down to $0.50!) I end up buying it—even if it is orange!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Crazy Weather

These days, the term global warming has given way to climate change —yes, things are getting warmer, but more than that, things are changing.

Spring is sure is! Wetter, warmer, windier! And early spring is warmer, and late spring, colder! Over all, more changeable. The highs are higher, the lows, lower. One week ago, almost 90°--today started in the 40's and the expected high in the low 60°'s (circa 16°c). And Wind! March winds are now coming in May! All in all, crazy weather!

I worked on the clown barf scarf this weekend (remember the clown barf scarf?) and will finish it up tonight. I worked a bit on the Cotton Candy pink socks—but not much--Almost 6 inches now, and soon it will be time for the heel. (I am still mentally working out how I will knit the heel!) I want to have these socks finished up by the end of the week.

With out much progress knitting wise, no photo's –though if you are on Ravelry—well check out my up dated images of my sock collection!

I am taking photographs and up dating my sock collection on Ravelry with new images of all my knit socks on my legs. They look so much better!

And—I finally found a CD I mis-filed—all my back up files from my old computer! I still have my old hard drive-- it will, eventually be slaved into my new computer as a back up. But its nice to have these files. A lot of them are journal notes about knitting projects (from before I used Ravelry as journal.)

Friday, May 07, 2010

At the Circus

the hawkers carry big flats of cotton candy—all neatly boxed, in regular rows.

That's what I thought of—So my cotton candy socks have this not quite a bubble rib (technically, it is a rib) –like neatly boxed up cotton candy.

There is about 4.5 inches of the foot done, and soon I'll be thinking about gusset.

I am going to experiment, and have a different heel and gusset shape—I haven't worked out the details, I will be, to some degree, just winging it!

I want to get these finished and photographed-- and off to Lion Brand. I have 10 or so socks knit with their yarn, and I plan to enter each pair. Maybe I'll win! I am pretty sure the sock image 'contest' is really a raffle (not a judged contest). I want to to have as many entries as I can—I haven't a clue of what the prize will be (it doesn't really matter; I am always happy to win anything). But I suspect they will have a display (a powerpoint slide show) of all the entries. So having the socks look there best does matter.

I love my legs! I've started every morning this week taking new photographs of socks—old and new. If you are on Ravelry check out the new images.

Some designs details where ho hum when photographed flat; all the exciting details got lost. But now, they are WOW!

I wish all my socks always looked as good on my feet and legs. Hell, I wish I had as much color in my (real) legs, as the manikins ones have. Pasty white isn't a real color.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Off Topic

I could tell you (I will!) I've completed the toe. I've also found a stitch pattern (it sort of looks like a swirl ball of cotton candy – Yeah, that's my story!)

But taking a break from the ego fest (this blog is all about me; what I am doing, what I am thinking, what I am knitting) I want to tell you about my DIL, Sonya, and gallery opening.

Now, I am not big on gallery openings. I feel like I don't have (and, in reality, I often don't!) enough money to live on, so spending on art is a pure luxury the kind I can't afford.

Window shopping for things I can't afford, doesn't appeal. So its a rare thing for me to go to a gallery show.

But—there are always exceptions!

This weekend's opening—a small gallery, at 224 Grand Street, Williamsburg, (Brooklyn) (a link to blog about the show) but one that got a nice write up in the NYTimes is the topic of the day. My DIL –a wonderful fiber artist—has an entry (or 2 or 4—depending on space!) The art works are small, but the entrants are many--so I don't know exactly how many will be displayed.

So this post is a shameless plug. Get your self over to Williamsburg and take a look. Buy something too, if you can. Buy her entries, or other ones!

There are lots of great restaurants in the area, --make it a day of it.

Sonya is also submitting to another gallery here in NY –and has an offer from a space that features fibers arts displays (not a gallery), also here in NYC and these are just the very latest.

She shown this year in Minneapolis, and in the DeYoung, and in Oakland, and had been part of the Open Studios (Mission District of SF)--Lots of works, being shown in lots of place.

Visit her web page, read her blog, shop her Esty store—become a fan of her's on Facebook, check out her Ravelry page; there are so many ways to connect with her.










Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Photo-Less (almost) Post

I hate photo-less posts! I tend to avoid making them. But there is not much to see.

I cast on yesterday—Lion Brand Sock Ease, in the pink Cotton Candy colorway, for a toe up sock.

20 stitches to start, and a dozen rounds later, I had error, compounded on other errors.. and frogged the mess.

Started again, and now have 40 stitches (a scant inch of toe)--not very much to show.

Originally, my plan was for another pair of the Cross Purposes socks,(and to fully document this simple, but details matter pattern) in a different color way (a red plum (mullberry I think it is called). And then, well lots of ideas were competing to be next.


But The Lion Brand Studio (here in NYC) is having a Socktacular on the 21st—with demo's, and contests, and prizes—including a raffle that requires a photo entry. So even if you aren't in NY, and can't make it to the studio, you can be part of the fun!


Take a photograph of a pair of socks knit with Lion Brand Yarn (not specifically Sock Ease—so boot socks done with their sports weight superwash merino, or bed socks done in worsted would be eligible too) and you are entered to win.

Well, I have 9 (yes, nine!) pairs of socks knit in Lion Brand yarn, 8 in the Magic Stripes, and a single pair in the new Sock Ease. Before the contest deadline, I hope to have 10 pairs.

I still haven't decided on a stitch pattern—or for that matter, I haven't even looked! That's what I'll do tonight.

I did take some photos this morning. I want to take all new photos of all my socks modeled on the new legs. I did laundry Monday evening (30 pairs of sock got washed!) Before they are folded and all put away, I want to slip them on the legs, and get new images..

Just look at the difference.
Flat Vs on the legs (and the on the legs socks have been worn and wash a half dozen or so times!)They look so much better on the manikin legs!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

I've Got a Leg Up

To the knee. Actually a pair of them.. Or rather another pair of legs, that just go up to the knee. (Don't you have spare body parts?)

Yesterday, I treated my self to a pair of display (manikin like) legs.

I figure if I am going to design, and document, and sell sock patterns, I should invest in the means of making them look their best.

See how much nicer socks look on legs than they do flat, or even on sock blockers?

Yes, those are Miss B's Ribbed socks, finished.

Lion Brand Magic Stripe Sock yarn, in a simple 2 X 2 ribbed pattern, since Miss B, like all proper children grows and grows, and I want these socks to fit for longer than an blink of eye.

They are a bit too long in the foot right now, but not too much. And the ribbing will keep the sock snug—and also allow stretch.. It will both keep the sock up, and the heel seated until they do fit perfectly--(and then will allow ease and let her stretch them length-wise as her feet continue to grow!)

Meanwhile—I am on my toes.

Today, at work, I will get the Lion Brand Sock Ease Socks started—Color way Cotton Candy (a bright bubble gum/pepto bismal pink).

These will be toe up socks, because I don't have a full skein of this yarn (it was gifted to me, and I never look a gift horse in the mouth) nor do I mind when gifted sock yarn is not quite a full skein.

I am sure I have enough (or close to enough) to do a sock of my standard length, (about 9 inches from base of heel to top of sock)--but its easier to work toe up, and not be caught short.

Unlike some, who are leg-less after a bit of spirit--I can drink anyone under the table--I have hollow legs.

I haven't decided on a stitch pattern yet--(is there one that looks like fluffy cotton candy?)

I might go with a simple lace..Pink socks sort of demand lace (or beads, or a ruffle) don't they?

The stripe pattern is a dominating one; so a bit of patterning will not be too much.

Besides, I done a few pairs (well 2 in a row) of pretty much pattern free knitting—time for a change!

I'll go toe to toe with anyone who disagrees!

I have a bunch more cheese, leggy jokes, but many of them are blue. (and I'll pass on putting them here.)


Monday, May 03, 2010

On The Q-T(rain)

Knitting on the subway events have been held in almost every city that has a subway. Two years ago, on New Years day, I tried to organize one event.

One disadvantage to subway events on the NYC subways system, is there are no loops.

The NYC subway system has over 350 miles of track—and almost every line has 4 tracks (2 local, 2 express). NYers--(well real NYers!) know the system by an archaic landmarks.

The subways, (the oldest lines over 100 years old) were build by 3 competing companies, the IRT (Interboro Rapid Transit), the IND (Independent Transit) and BMT (Brooklyn and Manhattan Transit).
While all the tracks are standard gauge, there are major differences. The IRT has narrow (but high ceiling-ed tunnels, with gradual curves—so the cars are longer. The IND, wider tunnels, (with lower ceiling) and tighter curves and corners—and short cars. The BMT (the line I am least familiar with!) has differences, too; but I am not sure of what.

What I do know is: 3 sets of rolling stock! Most riders are at least vaguely familiar with the differences, The seating on each line is different (and don't get me started on the stupidity of yet another set of rolling stock for the train to the plane(JFK airport line) ).

In the 1930's, the city took over all 3 lines and merged them, into what is now part of the MTA system. (The MTA is also responsible for the light (commuter rail) in NYC.) At the same time, they began to merge the stations—since originally there was no free transfer between any of the competing lines.

Modern maps make no reference to the old IRT, IND or BMT--but NYers still, often refer to different subway lines by these long gone companies. Today, maps are color coded (a rainbow of colors.) The name of the trains (numbers or letters) are remnants of the old companies.

Tourist can easily be identified by using the colors as reference—No NYer's take the “RedLine” We take the 1, 2 or 3; (the three oldest lines in the system!) or Broadway local (number 1) or Broadway express. (2 or 3)

What NYC doesn't have is a LOOP. There are turns (the R train starts in Brooklyn, and heads north and west (to 7th Avenue) and then turns east, and heads into Queens. But there aren't any routes that encircle Manhattan or even a loop from Brooklyn to Queens, to Manhattan and back to Brooklyn.)

So planning a outing means get there on time—or miss the train. (and unfortunately, one participant did)

The collection of photo's isn't everybody,(by the time I thought to take photos, the train was moving, and some were blurry) but most. About 30 of us met Saturday afternoon, and took the Q train to Stillwell Avenue terminal in Brooklyn (aka, Coney Island) , and then had a lunch, and slowly dissolved into smaller groups and headed home.

I worked on these socks—The flap was completed Friday. I managed to turn the heel, pick up and finish the gusset Saturday. Since then, I've added another 3 inches. Not too much more to go, since these socks aren't for me. I'll be sending them off to Miss B (granddaughter)--It's been a year since I made her some socks--(who knows, if I continue on this sock obsession, she might get a few pairs!)

Last but not least, Friday (April 30) saw the completion of these socks, too.
Before the grey stripe, the stripes are near match, after, a perfect one; so these socks have matching toes. The stripe finished off the last few yards of grey, too!
I love most self striping and patterning yarns, and the pretty designs they make, but I am almost never willing to leave well enough alone. I'm very happy with the touches of almost solid grey, I like the personalized detail.

It's rainy today, but warm, and today is the first day I am not wearing wool socks this year—But I still intend to knit some more!