Friday, 31 August 2007

Drunken Bee progress

I'm tempted to mix things up a little for the second sock. I've gotten used to the swing of this pattern now. But if I'm honest, although I like the way it looks, and although I'm sure it will be lovely to wear, I don't think I can face knitting this same sock all over again to make the pair.
Nor, on the other hand, can I countenance the idea of succumbing totally to the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome. I like to think that I'm made of sterner stuff than that.
So, to that end, I plan to take inspiration from Guru Donni, who recently launched the SSSLG. [* Paisley waits patiently while readers go and check out what that acronym stands for. You're back? Ok.]
How revolutionary is that?! Knock over 2 patterns from the sock queue for the time investment of 1 pair of socks.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Another quilt top

I seem to be accumulating a pile of patchwork tops, sandwiched and basted, but I'm not doing a hell of a lot about getting them quilted. This one will hopefully be an exception as it has a deadline, of sorts.
I pieced this top last Sunday using a disappearing 9 patch technique that I had spotted in a few spots on the web recently. It's a very simple technique and it comes together very quickly. This was but the work of an afternoon. My colour choices were inspired by Jane's Tate Postcard quilt that she made a few months ago.
I'm planning on quilting this with stranded embroidery thread - similar to the quilting I did on my Plain Spoken (which recently got a compliment from Bill Kerr - co-designer of the original pattern - I was quite chuffed at this).

Drunken bees progressing

Drunken bees heel turn, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

I've turned the heel of the first sock. This is the first time I've made a sock where some of the pattern continues onto the heel flap. I like the continuity that the honeycomb brings to the heel, even though it meant the heel took a lot longer to work than a flap usually would.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

spring is sprung

When I walk home from the station in the evenings, it's dark. I'm very much looking forward to daylight savings for that reason. But walking in the dark does have it's own pleasurable quirks. Our suburb here is full of a lot of garden-proud people with old-fashioned gardens filled with those classic plants that my mum and my grandmother before her filled their gardens with. At this time of year, Daphne is the old-fashioned plant that is bringing me the most joy. Walking home in the dark, I can smell which gardens have this wonderfully fragrant plant although I cannot see them.
I have two tiny Daphnes in my little backyard which are also in bloom at the moment. This is the first year that they've bloomed enough that a little bit of breeze is enough to spread the perfume.

Daphne blooms

Spring is really starting to make its presence obvious here.




Fruit tree blossom

Oh... and I made another dishcloth.

4 corners dishcloth

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Sidewinder number one

Although I had been intrigued by the idea, I was a bit dubious while I was knitting it. It just looked like a big mess, with stitch markers akimbo and rows that seemed to go on forever. The leg seemed really long when I don't really like my socks to be too long. And then there was the prospect of doing a kitchener graft all the way down the back of the leg, down under the heel and along the length of the sole.....

But last night, I put a couple of Stephen-Fry-reading-Harry-Potter CDs in the stereo, sat down, sucked it up, and did the graft. And you know what? The sock actually fits pretty well. Even around the top of the leg.

Sidewinder in profile

And the grafting? It wasn't so bad. In fact, doing a graft that long forced me to get into a rhythm with it and I actually discovered a better technique which allowed me to keep the tension more even.
Even the under-toe graft doesn't look too bad.

Sidewinder - toe graft

It's a little bit rough to look at, but it's on the underside of the foot, it's smooth enough to wear and foot weight will flatten it out completely.

I still have one concern - the decreases. To shape both the heel and the toe, you work paired decreases or paired increases on every row. My increases worked fine - a tiny bit puckered, but they'll flatten out.

Sidewinder - heel increases

But the decreases have a tendency to ladder even though I was pulling the yarn as tight as I dared. You can see it on the heel...

Sidewinder - heel decreases

and also on the toe...

Sidewinder - toe decreases

I have a theory on how to fix this which I might try out on the second sock. If I include a single stitch to separate the decreases, then the ladder might disappear.

Yes? No?

Monday, 20 August 2007

Getting drunk...

Pretty, squishy, mossy green merino cashmere sock yarn...

Forest moss 02 going become a Drunken Bee. (Donni is going to make a pair too)

drunken bees start

The yarn is a little splitty, so I have to go fairly slowly and carefully, but it's looking good so far.

I finished my Razorshell socks.

Razorshell pair

Unlike the pattern as written, I continued the design down the instep. It's slightly off centre on the top of the foot as a result, since the pattern didn't take that into account. But on the foot you don't notice so no harm done. I prefer this look to the stark switch from patterned leg to plain foot which the original pattern called for.
(Yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Bittersweet. 2.25mm dpns)

My first Sidewinder is awaiting an hour of good light, calm and tranquility so that the long graft can be completed without tears. In its current state, it's got a slightly EZ-esque look about it.

sidewinder ready for finale

I also did some patchwork over the weekend, but no photos yet.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Proof positive that I am a geek...

I'm obsessively checking my Ravelry queue status every day.... I'm under the 1000 mark now.
  • Found you!
    You signed up on June 18, 2007
    You are #9780 on the list.
    837 people are ahead of you in line.

Also, I'm sorely tempted by these ear-rings...

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Zwei Bayerische Socke

Donni and I have been having an unofficial little knit-along (mutual encouragement arrangement) for Eunny Jang's Bayerische Sock pattern which first appeared late last year. Donni's pair were finished last week. Last night, I finished mine.
Bayerische Socks completed

A few project stats:
Begun: 5 May 2007
Finished: 13 August 2007 (wow.... three months for a pair of socks....)
Yarn: TOFUtsies by South West Trading Company (wonderful stuff, it's only drawback is the fine-ness means that 2mm needles are really a necessity to produce a nice firm fabric, but the results are definitely worth it)
Needles: 2mm dpns (Knit Picks)
Bayerische close up

Obligatory shoe fetish shot:
Keen Bayerische Socks

"So what's next?"
Sidewinder begins
"...the sidewinder sleeps, sleeps, sleeps in a coil..."

I'm going perpenSOCKular and trying out NonaKnits's Sidewinders.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

1.5 socks

First Razorshell sock is completed. Bayerische sock is awaiting a heel flap.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Sock in Progress Friday

Razorshell 1 in progress, originally uploaded by Paisley Womble.

It's Friday evening. It's nearly hometime. All is quiet (fingers crossed). So here'a little shot of my train-knitting sock-in-progress (which is growing a darn sight faster than my home knitting project, the Bayerischens). The Razorshell pattern is one of those simple little 2 round chevron patterns which alternates a row of strategically placed YOs and decreases with a plain knit row.
The yarn is LL Shepherd Sock in Bittersweet which has been hanging out in the stash for quite some time now. There has been a little bit of colour pooling around the gusset, but I like the novelty of it. Besides, the yarn is so lairy anyway, a bit more anarchy in the colour distribution really isn't going to matter that much.