Thursday, June 30, 2011
I stewed about it for a day or two since I didn't want to cut the yarn mid-stripe to cast on another sock. I finally decided that I'd rather risk the stripe being reversed than interrupted and cast on from the other end of the ball. That's why there are two toe-up socks in progress. The legs are simple to knit while paying attention to other issues. When I want something more engaging, I'll start the mate to this sock:
One thing the photo above does show well is my latest big FO--a hardwood floor. It is the result of one of those one-thing-leads-to-another projects. A ceiling repair lead to painting that prompted new carpet. Once the carpet was ordered, we pulled up the old carpet and found peg-and-plank flooring. All it needed was cleaning and waxing. I'm happy to have the hardwood floor, but not the new task of tearing apart another room to put down the new carpet. At least we found another room that doesn't have hardwood under the carpet.
Also hoofing along is a sweater, at last. It's the cover sweater from last fall's Vogue Knitting.
The color is more rich than this photo shows, but the lighter exposure makes the pattern more visible. That ought to be enough knitting, but on a whim I started a potholder with some tapestry yarn I bought cheap at a craft sale.
Sunday, June 19, 2011
That's what is wrong in the first photo. The snow among the trees at the higher elevations shouldn't be visible. Those are evergreens, not decidious trees that haven't leafed out yet. Most of them are dead.
We saw the same thing at the Dillon dam, huge mountains covered with dead trees.
The Park Service has posted a recent article about the beetle problem.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
The fairgrounds is a great facility with several stock barns. Still, there wasn't quite enough room. There were so many animals that large tents were set up to hold the overflow.
I did have a wonderful encounter with a small black ewe. She came up to me and closed her eyes in bliss when I scratched her cheek. After a bit, I noticed that whenever I scratched, she would switch her tail rapidly back and forth. Hilarious!
I left the sheep and moved on to the alpacas and the llamas, only to find they didn't much care for the smell of sheep on my hands. Oh well, camelids not much for petting, but they are photogenic.
This angora bunny is certainly prettier than the wild rabbits I watched play outside my hotel room the evening before. As I admired this one in its tiny cage, I wondered, if it was let loose in a field, would it scamper around as friskily as the wild rabbits did? I would have asked the breeder, but she was thronged with enthusiastic angora lovers.
One last photo...here my attention was captured by the impressive display of ribbons. When I asked the lady who was putting the pack saddle on this llama if she minded being in the photograph, her response was to complain that the llama had lowered his ears.
I know llama and alpaca owners think their animals look better, or at least, happier, with their ears up. When I went to an alpaca ranch a couple of years ago, the rancher was displeased that all of the alpacas would lower their ears when I pointed the camera at them. It was my recounting of that story that made the woman laugh as I took the photo above.
I didn't realize that I failed to take any photos in the vendor barn. I was just too busy shopping. There was a great selection of vendors. I'll put my purchases together and photograph them soon.
Monday, June 6, 2011
The pattern by Susan Zivec has a bit of ribbing between the heel turn and the sole. The added ribbed bit looks very nice, but since I've never worn these socks, I can't say whether or not it improves the fit. I found purling the remainder of the sole after the ribbing very tedious. Once I knew I had to knit a second pair for the same person, I decided to avoid the purling by knitting the foot inside out. That's when I began to work on a means of incorporating a reverse-knit foot into any sock pattern.
For this second pair (the ones in the above photo), I selected a cabled pattern on a reverse stockinette background that merged with the reverse stockinette pattern of the foot. I followed the pattern as far as the heel gusset, and then knit the end of the cable pattern as I knit the gusset. Once that transition was complete, I turned the sock inside out, made a wrap and turn, and continued in knit, except for the two lines of ribbing on either side of the instep. Those were worked as purls from the wrong side. more on these socks here....
I wasn't happy with having to change direction of knitting and pick up a wrap once I turned the sock inside out. Even though I tried to hide the change near the heel, I could still see the bump. My next attempt included developing a pattern designed to be turned inside out.
occurred when I realized could change the direction of knitting at the heel turn. Which I did, right at the end of the heel flap. more on these socks here....
Since I was fairly happy with this innovation, I repeated it in my next pair.
Since the yarn I used for these socks has cashmere content, I knitted a strand of bamboo content yarn along with it to reinforce the heel turn. That's where my socks usually wear out. As a side effect of this addition, I looked hard at the transition to purl in the heel. more on these socks here....
Since I wasn't at all happy with this transition, I put the change from knit to purl at a different point in the next pair. By this point, I was knitting socks according to a simpler pattern I had written. I'll cover those in my next post.
One last pair, the most recent ones I've knit inside-out:
ssk as ssp. This conversion was difficult. Tiring of the tricky pattern, I just continued the k1tbl's down the foot as p1tbl's, replacing the lace pattern with knit stitches between the ribs. For a bit of interest, I worked the toe decreases between the sets of ribbing. more on these socks here, at the end of the post...
Now that you have read about my development of a more comfortable pair of socks, you may want to try knitting the feet of your socks inside out. If you don't care to try to figure it out on your own, the pattern will be available as soon as I finish editing the pdf file, hopefully at the end of this week.
If anyone wants to receive a free pattern in return for test-knitting, please comment or e-mail. If you do comment for that purpose, be sure to tell me how to get in touch with you.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wet Fiber Fest. Of course, a snowy, rainy day in May is somewhat rare, even in Southern Colorado. Besides the great weather, this festival offers the all the usual attractions, just on a smaller scale. There were 30 vendors, mostly from Colorado and New Mexico, with a couple from Texas adding to the western vibe.
There was a variety of animals, notably a Wensleydale sheep, the festival mascot (an alpaca named Thunder), Highland cattle, and this pair of llamas imitating a pushmi-pullyu.
There was shearing.
The front-and-center hank is Blue-faced Leicester and silk sock yarn, dyed by a mother-daughter team from Boulder, Co. Their company, Wild Orchids Fiber Arts, offered a selection of unusual yarns, beautifully and tastefully dyed. Mink yarn, cashmere, bfl, merino, silk....wow. I was really happy to get the bfl, touted to be the best sock yarn ever. The unusual sage colorway is just my taste. Don't expect to see it knit up anytime soon. I usually enjoy my favorite yarns in a hank for a while before I wind them up. It's like the knitting project I took on the drive to Pagosa Springs.
The yarn I used in these socks is a perfect example. It was part of my prize for second-place in the Socks Revived pattern contest last summer. It's the Spring Grass colorway of North Loop's superwash merino sock. I puzzled for a while with it, but once I settled on the Chouwa pattern from Knitted Socks East and West, everything fell into place.
I just love how the slight pooling works with the feather and fan pattern in the leg. The cables in the pattern tighten the leg considerably, though. It's a little tight pulling them on over my heels, but once on, they are a good fit. I followed the pattern through the heel flap, taking a chance that the shorter-than-my-usual heel flap would still fit. It does, barely. I turned the sock inside out after the heel turn to knit a smoother, princess-style sole with no purling.
I plan to blog incessantly about this method of sock knitting as I work up to my next pattern launch. I have found that turning the knit side toward my foot makes a more comfortable sock. Since the entire foot in this sock is reverse stockinette, I'm not satisfied with the term princess sole. These socks have a princess heel, princess sole, princess toes, and a princess instep--what should I call it? A royal foot?