Sunday, June 20, 2010

Socks Revived Contest

Elinor, who blogs at Exercise Before Knitting, announced a sock design contest this spring. Since the entry period ended last month, I've been admiring the ones I could find on Ravelry. I had hesitated to enter my sock pattern, but finally did, figuring it wouldn't hurt to be listed as one of the entries. I was glad I did, since Elinor took the trouble to post photos of all 53 designs.

You can see them all on her blog. Her latest post announced the winners. I was stunned to find that mine won second place. And great prizes! As thrilled as I am about that, I'm equally happy to see all these beautiful socks.

If they don't inspire sock-knitting, I don't know what will. Thanks, Elinor!

I've been inspired to try a variation on my Burning Stripes pattern, simply changing the width of the stripes.

It was very easy, since the contrasting seam stitch allows the yarn not in use to be carried over any width stripe.

I'm not totally satisfied with the result, since it doesn't have enough color variation for my taste. This particular ball of the Stonewashed colorway of Zauberball just went from dark blue to light blue and back again. So far, that is. I'm not sure what is hiding in the heart of the ball. To forestall an unexpected surprise and avoid a mis-matched sock, I'm going to hold off on knitting the second sock until I rewind the ball and find a section that will match this one. The white is a plain ivory sock yarn that knits to the same gauge as the Zauberball.

What? Still here? Hop on over to Exercise Before Knitting and drool over the socks.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One way only

I recently visited northern Arkansas, home to a species that made me cry "What was that?" when I first saw one.

How foolish, really. It is obviously a deer. My confusion was due my recent and continual exposure to the ones around my home in Colorado. Above is a whitetail deer, a dainty, small-eared pest unfortunately found in yards throughout the eastern U.S. I know that the homeowners there often complain about the damage done to bushes, trees and flowers by these deer. I'd trade with them anyday.

THIS is what I have to pester me. Mule deer are twice as big, twice as hungry, and not at all dainty. I'd complain, but my regular readers know that I enjoy watching them, even if they do eat my flowers. I'm still a bit staggered by the difference in size. It's like lawnmowers instead of weedeaters or like the flu instead of a cold.

ETA:  There's a jump here, but I've kept this part of the post up primarily because I think the ferry has been discontinued due to budget cuts.  Sad.

-The old story----

Several years ago, on another road trip, what I thought was a short-cut brought me to a different type of river crossing. Here's my photos and story from that time, lifted from my old journal.
Knitting was difficult with all the bumps in the road--Hwy 124 is so patched, the patches have patches. It follows the Ouachita River, or Bushy Bayou, Branch or something like that. Not heavily settled. It seemed like a short cut, but we kept seeing signs for the ferry. The Duty-Enterprise Ferry. Yes, if one travels between Duty and Enterprise, one must take the ferry. Well, actually, it’s not that poetic. It’s just another way to get from Duty, La. to Monroe, La. Enterprise is another small community along the way.

Yes, we actually drove onto that little barge.

I was snapping pictures the whole way, which prompted the ferry man to ask “Ya’ll not from around heah, are yuh? We told him where we lived. After I took a few more pix, he wanted to know “Have you been on a ferry before? Do they have ferrys down there?” I assured him that they do, and that they are big ferrys. He recalled his ride on one of the many ferries that cross the lower Mississippi River, then mused a bit, watching the river go by. His ferry doesn't go very fast. Then he said, “Those big ferrys have a lot of rules. We don’t have any rules, we just go when we get a car.” Ferry man humor.

Actually, it's really the only rule I need.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010

Running down the road

I'm really pleased with the fit of the Pyroclastic pattern. It has sat in my "to be knit" queue for a long time, so long that I wasn't sure why it was there. It seemed so crazy, with a set of increases and matching decreases to shape the sole, that I stopped them once I reached the ball of the foot. The result is worth the effort, though. The fit is perfect. (The yarn is Pagewood Farms Yukon, merino with a bit of bamboo making it soft and smooth.)

The fit on my Annetrelac socks is good, too. I modified the leg by decreasing the blocks from 6 stitches to 5 stitches after the first two tiers. This made the third tier more of a rectangle, since I started with 5 stitches but needed enough rows to decrease away six. Once done, though, the transition is not noticeable, and the leg is narrower.

I like this method of shaping entrelac. I've seen a pattern or two that might use it.
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