Friday, May 30, 2008

Hats and such

Lest you think it's only about socks, I've been working on headgear too.

I received a skein of Alpaca Sox yarn as a gift. It's 60% alpaca, 20% wool and 20% nylon and absolutely yummy. Luxurious for socks? Absolutely. But I feared it would not stand up to the wear and tear of shoes, walking and other indignities. I made the Webs Tam from the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2007 issue. Heather has been looking for a floppy tam that goes so well with her funky style. It had some serious knitting manuevers with make 1 purls throughout. I struggled with finding a way to purl through the back loop smoothly. The design is on a reverse stockinette background and with my combined style of purling and working in the round, I ended up purling conventionally for a lot of the lace work. But it sure is pretty....

After it was done, I blocked it using a large 12" dinner plate. I only used 48 grams of the 100 gram skein, so maybe will make another one for the other daughter...

I got a request from DD's boyfriend's mom for a baby boy beanie to be worn in Tahoe. DD, ever fond of cables, selected this pattern. I used Baby Soft, an acrylic sport weight and made the 6 month size. It's plenty stretchy and I made the roll up brim a bit long, so it should last for a few months.

And just for fun, I made a couple of Curly Cute necklaces. Use left over sock yarn and some beads and you come up with a really nice accessory. The gray one was my first and I think the beads overpower the yarn. The maroons one came out more to my liking. These work up quickly, but were hard on my hands, so I'm resisting making a gazillion of them for now.

Flat Feet and Left overs

The Cool subdued Flat Feet turned out okay. I ended up ripping the first sock about 3 different times. First, I was working toe up and I made the foot too long. Then I messed up the heel on the 2nd go around and started over. THEN, I'm almost done with the cuff, try it on to see how long to make it - AND THE SOCK WON'T GO OVER MY HEEL. The zig zag of the Welt Fantastic pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks has very little give. So, it's frog to the heel once more, do less gusset decreases to get 4 more stitches. Then I adapted the Welt pattern to incorporate the additional stitches along the back of the cuff. With my notes, the 2nd sock worked up quickly. They are nice, but I still did not get that sense of satisfaction I achieve when a project is done.
This is why I do not do 2 socks at once. Things happen. I would have been sincerely upset if I had had to go through all that sock trauma twice. As you can tell, I have not been happy with the 2 at a time on one long Magic Loop experiment. Once I figure out how to do the heel, so I could help others out during the LYS's knitting clinic, I separated them and have continued working one at a time down to the toe. I've completed one sock and am almost to the toe of the second one. Another under inspiring project, mostly because the colorways don't match. Bob likes them, so I'll be finishing them in the next day or so.

I had some of the Flat Feet left over, so I gathered other odd balls of solid sock yarns and embarked on cobbling together a pair with the nubs. I did work them at the same time, but on separate needles, switching back and forth every yarn switch or two. Also, since it was a basic crew sock, I had no new pattern dramas. These flew off the needles. I love them lots and like them much better than all the socks the yarns were left over from.

Still on the Flat Feet kick. For the other colorway in my stash, I went toe up using Cookie A's Monkey Sock pattern. I'd read around Ravelry, the pattern worked just as well toe up, so I went ahead. Happy, happy with the results. I finished the first sock and it will stay a singleton for a while. It's on display at the LYS with the other Flat Feet to show how it knits up and how generous the yarn is. My sock has a cuff over 8 inches long and fits my size 9 1/2 toes.

Overall, I'm working on finishing my WIPs - just 2 plus the crocheted afghans, so I may begin my Christmas knitting and other smallish sized projects I plan for summer knitting so I don't have a big pile on my lap in my unairconditioned house.