Thursday, March 26, 2015

Positive Reinforcement

Round 2, Week 1 of Sock Madness is winding down, the April 3 deadline looms, and I'm still working on the first leg of Cable Madness. Must knit faster! I need mug cake, stat!

Mug cake and wip

Happily for me, my local library came through with a copy of Mug Cakes by Leslie Bilderback. Mine is in a ramekin because that's how I roll.

That's better. knitknitknit

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sunday Post

Friday was the first day of spring. I was traveling, it snowed, the next Sock Madness pattern dropped, and not only was I without the necessary, but also I was too busy to do anything about it. Oh, woecakes! But the daffodils were brave and so was I.

First day of spring

The helpful staff at The Yarn Spot remedied one problem and by Sunday I was knitting away on Cable Madness by Karen Buhr using SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock in colorway Mulberry.

Cable Madness wip

The deadline for this round is April 4. See you on the other side, if not sooner.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Not Unlike Cowbell

The Sock Madness email that conveyed the happy news that I advance to Round 2 also contained a reminder to post more in-progress photos. To a process knitter that's not unlike telling the late Gene Frenkle, "More cowbell!" Can do, starting immediately, because once Round 1 was over, I frogged the to-me uncomfortable Alohomora star toes and knit wedge toes.

The process? First, I opened up the star toe and picked up stitches.

Undo star toe

Then I frogged the toe. I picked up stitches before frogging because the ribbing stitches of the foot would have splayed in opposite directions when frogged, which would have made picking up stitches after frogging a little fussy, particularly in this yarn, which tends to split and pill. Less fuss is a good thing.

Frogged toe

Next, I knit a wedge toe, which is more comfortable on my Frankenfeet than a star toe. Here's one star toe, one wedge toe.

One wedge toe, one star toe

Rinse, repeat. Here's two wedge toes.

Alohomora FO with wedge toes

I'm very happy with my pinky rainbowy Alohomora socks! It's just the palette I crave this time of year.

Alohomora modeled

After suitable jubilation, it occurs to me the Round 2 pattern is likely to drop when I'm on the road and unable to do much knitting or take many progress pix for that matter. Oh noes! Will I be able to advance? To be continued....

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sock Foot 9 and 1/4

It's Pi Day! I didn't have time to bake a pie, so sent DH to The Pie Store, where the line was out the door and the bakers were baking furiously. He duly returned with a steak and ale pie for our supper.

Savory pie for Pi Day

Meanwhile, here's more photographic evidence my Round 1 Sock Madness socks, Alohomora by Malena Andersen, now a pair, were knit to specs: >9 inch (>22.8 cm) foot, five boxes on leg, six boxes on foot, star toe. I couldn't figure out how to keep the measuring tape flat whilst I took a picture, but when pulled flat, the sock foot measures 9 and 1/4 inches (23.5 cm). The flowerhead pins indicate the pattern repeats.

Alohomora FO per specs

The regulations observed, let me further note that pattern was delightful to knit, with just the right amount of texture to enhance solid, self-striping, or variegated yarns. I enjoyed the yarn, Pagewood Farms Yukon colorway Rainbow, more than expected. To me YUKON suggests a certain fiber content – this yarn is 70/20/10 Superwash Merino, Bamboo, and Nylon. Huh? I sometimes haven't liked the combination, which can be slick and limp, but this yarn and the pattern resulted in a nicely springy fabric both to the eye and to the hand.

Equally delightful, this year I had enough knitting time to finish two socks and even blog before the deadline, thus earning a place in the competition. That hasn't happened since March 2010. Yikes. Suffice to say lack of knitting time = a difficult slog that's not over yet. It's nice to have more knitting time.

Alas, a star toe is very uncomfortable on my Frankenfeet. My feet do not taper evenly to a sharp point like a pencil, they're shaped more like wedges. So I left long tails on the toes and plan to frog the toes and re-knit comfy wedge toes sometime soon.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Lag and Jetlag

Once again I'm behind in my blogging. Not to mention today is Spring Forward Day in the U.S. Gentle readers, please to forgive my greater than usual lack of enthusiasm for this tortuous custom. Having taken the red eye from LA, my eyes are duly red and I have no idea what time it is. One manifestation of my chronological confusion: on the plane I spent an inordinate amount of time puzzling over what marketing genius named this snack box "sonp" and what deep import that might have. What is sonp?

What is sonp?

Of course, I was looking at it upside-down. The snack is a pairing of chips and salsa – "duos" not "sonp" or "soup" or whatever else my poor fuzzy brain was trying to conceptualize. At least I was alert enough to refuse ice with my beverage.

While away I started a sock. Then the Sock Madness 9 warm-up started, so I abandoned it started the first warm-up pattern, The Stroop Stroop Socks by Ros Clarke, then abandoned it too started the Round 1 qualifying pattern, Alohomora by Malena Anderson. (Doesn't everyone travel with yarn and needles sufficient for three projects?) Here's the Alohomora singleton.

Alohomora singleton

My poor fuzzy brain neglected to notice that the dread mods request a photo with markers on the sock indicating the pattern repeats to prove the sock was knit per the pattern (five blocks on the leg, six blocks on the foot). My sock was indeed knit to specs, and I'll provide photographic evidence... after I take a nice long nap.

ETA: Nap accomplished, here's the sock marked to show there are the regulation five blocks on the leg, six blocks on the foot, and a star toe. There's a giant image here.

Alohomora singleton, marked

As my Frankenfeet are not shaped like sharpened pencils that taper evenly to a point, but rather are pretty much wedge-shaped, a star toe is quite uncomfortable for me. I left a long tail in anticipation of tinking the star toe and re-knitting a wedge toe after the dread mods verify my sock status. I'd like to be able to finish the second sock in time to qualify for competition this year, which hasn't happened since 2010. Alas, lately that's not been entirely up to me. Should it be, patterns only status would be far more than OK – I'm grateful for the annual Madness.