Showing posts with label TTL Mystery Sock. Show all posts
Showing posts with label TTL Mystery Sock. Show all posts

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Closed Tubes

My TTL Mystery Socks are done! The last clue was released Tuesday night (though I didn't get to it until yesterday morning), and after knitting at lunch and a bit after dinner last night, I found myself with two finished socks.

I used a single color for mine, but if you look at most of the other projects, you'll see that there was meant to be a contrast color used for the picot cast on at the top of the leg and for stripes in the toe.

I'm mostly happy with these socks. The pattern is beautiful, but I think my yarn was a little on the thin side and the pattern would look a little more robust with a slightly heavier fingering. I also noticed a slight difference in size with mine, and I think that's largely due to the fact that I worked the socks on different needles -- one sock on a pair of Addi Sock Rockets and one on a pair of ChiaoGoo Red Lace. I did this mostly because I wanted to knit both socks at the same time (and I really didn't want to do them both on the same needle or on two circs). My preference would have been to use two needles of the same type, but that really wasn't an option. I don't think the difference is really all that noticeable, and I'm sure that as I wear the socks and stretch them out a bit it'll all even out, but it's something to take note of and avoid in the future.

These socks did make it clear to me that the Sock Rockets are now my favorite needles for socks. I'd been enjoying the CGs up until I got these, but now the cord feels so inflexible in comparison.

Speaking of tubes, I pulled out Rainbow's Little Oak cardigan shortly after posting on Tuesday night and was able to complete the body to the underarms and join the sleeves to it. I've done exactly one row of the cable chart for the yoke, but I'm hoping to get through a bit more of it tonight. I'm in the home stretch at this point, especially as the rows start to get shorter soon. I have a three-day weekend coming up (Rainbow's school has an in-service day on Monday), so I'm hoping that I can finish this sweater up before I go back to work on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Toes to Come

I spent a good portion of my weekend working on my TTL Mystery Socks, as the fourth clue -- the foot -- was released last Wednesday. This was definitely the largest clue of the whole sock; the instep chart had 62 rounds, and I had to tack an additional 15 rounds onto the end to make the feel long enough. The clue started just after the heel turn, too, so I had the whole gusset to deal with at the beginning. It took me several hours over several days, but they are now done but for the toes.

These look a lot better when they're actually worn and the fabric stretches just a bit, but I really like them. They still feel a little delicate to me -- both because of the thinness of the yarn and the lace of the stitch pattern -- so these aren't socks that are going to be worn every week on a regular basis. I might knit the pattern again (eventually) using a thicker sock yarn if I feel like I want to wear them more often, but there's also something to be said for having special occasion socks, especially considering how the yarn was spun.

It looks like I will have plenty of yarn leftover from these socks to knit a small pair, which should make a certain 4-year-old happy.

In other projects-that-don't-even-merit-an-in-progress-post news, I knit a dishcloth last week. I'd bought a brightly colored skein of dishcloth cotton at Michaels months ago and pulled it out when I suddenly got an urge to knit a square. I grabbed the nearest free needles that weren't in a case (which happened to be a US 6) and cast on -- remind me never to do that again. I think the needles were too small for the yarn, and combined with the stiffness of cotton, it made for a tough time on my hands.

I'm not so much a fan of this yarn, either, because it rubbed off on my hands the whole time I was working with it. Still, the dishcloth is bright and cheerful (for now, anyway; I'm sure it'll fade significantly the first time it's washed), and there's enough leftover to make a small washcloth for Rainbow.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Newfound Focus

It appears that all I needed to be able to concentrate on one project was to blog about how I couldn't focus. After my last post, I devoted myself almost entirely to my blue shawl, which is now thisclose to being finished. The bind off is one that takes quite a long time, though I think it's worth it. I'll finish this up first thing this evening.

I think I mentioned that there's a little bit of colorwork on the border of this one, and I'm finding that I like the reverse side of it just as much as I like the front, so I think I might be using this stitch pattern again for something that could be reversible.

As soon as the shawl is done, it'll get blocked. Then all I need to do is take some measurements, weigh what's left of my yarn to figure out how much I used, and take some photos to put the finishing touches on the pattern.

Yesterday the third clue of the TTL Mystery Socks was released (well, technically it was released Tuesday night, but I didn't look at it until yesterday morning). I took my socks to work and was able to get the first heel done and the second heel started. The second heel was finished last night, so these will now be put aside until next week, when we'll get the foot portion.

I had a brief moment of panic after I finished turning the second heel last night when I thought for a minute that I'd have no lunchtime knitting for today (I have a couple of things I want to start, but yarn needs to be wound for them). Then I remembered that I've been neglecting Rainbow's scarf, so that went into my project bag and saw some action today. I think that if I can stay focused on it for a few days at least, it stands a good chance of getting finished in the near future.

For a while there I was starting to think that I had too many projects on the needles, but it turns out that I needn't have worried! I love it when it all works out like that.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gimme All the Wool

That darn Polar Vortex seems to have struck again, so I am finding that I want to cover myself in every handknit object I own. Even Rainbow -- who I often refer to as "my little furnace" -- has requested that I make her a scarf. I think I've found a suitable pattern (I wanted something short to avoid any strangulation risk), and she has picked out a skein of my handspun, so I'm hoping to cast on this weekend and whip it up quickly so she can wear it while the frigid air is here.

Meanwhile, I'm working on more handknits for me. The second clue for the TTL Mystery Sock was released a day early, and I had planned to start in on it during my lunch break yesterday, but apparently it's cold enough to freeze my brain and I forgot to swap out my project bags. That meant that I didn't get to start in on them until after Rainbow was asleep last night. I've nearly gotten through the leg on the first sock and will tackle the second one tonight.

Daylight photo brought to you by my camera phone!

These are pretty darn fancy, and I'm glad I'm using some of my extra-precious handspun for them. The yarn itself feels a little delicate, as does the patterning, so these will be special socks that don't get worn every day.

I'm also still working on Rainbow's sweater, which now has a completed sleeve and the cuff of the second done. I am still loving the yarn and am now lusting after more for a sweater for me. (I'm sticking to my stash "diet," though, and am fully intending to knit the sweaters I've already bought yarn for before that happens!)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bright Feet

Hey look, I finished a pair of socks!

Pattern: loosely based on Monkey by Cookie A.
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight in Twitterpated, one skein
Needles: 40" US 1 (2.25 mm) Addi Sock Rockets (magic loop)
Started/Completed: January 3/January 14

These were cast on while we were still on vacation in Florida and were my travel knitting. The first sock was nearly done by the time we get back, but the second sock took a bit of extra time to do once I started back at work and only had my lunch break to work on them. In any case, I'm happy they're done, as they're going to make a very welcome addition to my sock drawer.

As for the pattern, I started with the no-purl Monkey socks that seem to be my default (other than plain stockinette). I thought I'd try a little something different this time, so after I did the first pattern repeat normally, I shifted where I started in the pattern for the second repeat, starting with stitch 9. I alternated the normal pattern with the shifted pattern, so you can see that there's an effect of wavy lines.

My other modification was to add the reinforcement to the sole near the ball of my foot in an effort to have these last a little longer. I have been dutifully exfoliating the problem spots on my feet, but I figured it couldn't hurt to try this out for some extra protection. I essentially did Eye of Partridge stitch on the sole stitches only for the last two repeats of the foot (right before the toe). It definitely made the sole side of the sock denser and perhaps a little shorter than the same area on the instep, but it doesn't seem to be that noticeable. Time will tell if it's actually an effective strategy.

I was in a bit of a hurry to finish these because I wanted to use the needles for the Through the Loops Mystery Sock, which kicked off yesterday with the first clue for the cuff. I was able to get both cuff done by the evening, so now I'll have to wait until next week for the next clue. The cast on was a bit tedious but very fun looking, so I'm excited to see what comes next.

I'm using my own handspun -- the first time I've knit with yarn that I spun on a spindle, actually -- and I'm reminded yet again what a joy it is to knit with yarn I've spun myself. I really need to make a point to do it more often.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Two, Two, Two Hats in One!

(Well, in one post, that is.)

I mentioned a while back that I was knitting some hats for the Halos of Hope Podcaster Throwdown. After a crazy week last week, forces converged over the weekend and I was able to finish both of them on Saturday. (My apologies for these horrible photos -- in addition to the shortened amount of daylight this time of year, it's also been overcast for the past two days.)

Pattern: Wurm by Katharina Nopp
Yarn: scraps of several colors of Knit Picks Comfy Sport
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) and US 5 (3.75 mm)
Started/Completed: December 24, 2013/January 11, 2014
Mods: did a ribbed brim (instead of a hemmed brim), worked only 8 reverse stockinette sections, and added a few rounds to the crown

This was a fun knit, although my plan to use up scraps was partially a dumb thing to do because it meant lots of ends to weave in. I did carry some strands, but I still estimate I had at least a dozen ends to deal with. I wove in some as I went along, so at least I didn't have to deal with them all at the end.

I specifically chose this yarn because I thought it would be perfect for a chemo cap -- soft, not itchy, and easy to wash. The scraps were leftover from the Tiny Bubbles sweater I knit for Rainbow when I was pregnant with her -- so, needless to say, they've been sitting in my stash for quite a while! I used up most of what was left, and I think what's still enough not to throw away will be useful as ties for my handspun when I skein it up.

This hat was so busy that I thought I should do a relatively plain one that I could knit up in an evening or two and throw in the package. I still had a random skein of Wool-Ease in my stash (I bought two on clearance at Michaels maybe a year ago that I figured I'd use for a baby gift or something), so I pulled it out and cast on. It really did take me only a few days to whip this one up.

Pattern: Amberson by yours truly
Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-Ease, color 115/Blue Mist
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm)
Started/Completed: January 8/January 11
Mods: none

I cast this on at knit night last week and, after a few false starts, managed to get the brim and a bit of the body done that evening. I knit most of the body on Thursday evening and then finished up the crown on Saturday night while rewatching an episode of Sherlock with the Mister. There's not much to say about this -- I knit the pattern exactly as written, and it turned out exactly as I was expecting.

Now that these hats are done, I find myself with only one project actively on the needles -- my very bright socks. I'm hoping to finish them up tonight, and then tomorrow I will cast on for the Through the Loops Mystery Sock (the first clue comes out tomorrow). For those I will be using my own handspun, the superwash merino/nylon from the Cupcake Fiber Company that I spun on my spindle during last year's Tour de Fleece. I wound it over the weekend, so as soon as I free up my needles, I'm ready to go.

Of course, I can't have just a pair of socks on the needles (particularly if I only have part of the pattern at a time), so I'll have to figure out what to cast on for next. I think I might be another shawl design. Stay tuned.