Socks and Legs

My toe-up socks are at the point where they stretch a bit to get around my calves. They will probably be knee high or just over the knee high. I’ve been thinking about tubes and legs that are not tubes. While I don’t have huge calves (like this knitter who also thought about tubes vs calves) I do wonder at what point I should think about increasing a little.

My husband, who likes tube socks, said the advantage of tube socks is they grip your calves and don’t fall down. It’s a pretty good argument. Another argument against making shapely socks is that if they do slouch a little you end up with a double calf effect.

Given the horrors induced at the idea of having double calves (which are reminiscent of double chins and other double things I don’t want) I am going to make a tube leg on these socks.

Now I just have to decide when to start ribbing… Maybe I’ll stay bland and just rib the last two to three inches like I imagine a normal person would do.

The picture is from the other night. Some progress has been made since then.

socks have reached my calves

Projects Past: Baby Surprise Jacket

I felt like posting. Made it to work, made some progress this evening on my socks. The socks are now nearly calf high and I took a picture to show the decision point where I start thinking about ribbing or increasing or something or nothing. I’m in the back bedroom though and wifi is so slow the picture upload to Flickr kept timing out.

Instead here’s a chance to look at a picture I uploaded last month after finishing my first baby surprise jacket. This is our younger cat Pirate trying to figure out how long I’m going to make her wear the sweater. I had finished the jacket but was feeling anxious about whether or not it would fit a tot. I figured my cat wasn’t too different than a one year old so I put the sweater on her and it fit so I stopped worrying. It’s always nice to have an easy test to pass that allows me to stop worrying.

The baby surprise jacket was a fun project. I had no real reason to make the jacket. I chose to make it because the pattern sounded interesting, my mother & all her friends were making them which would lead to some fun project comparing, and also it felt like a milestone project in skill building. As if having made a baby surprise jacket I graduated to intermediate knitting. Which is strange because I think that’s the level most people would have put me at after my first pair of socks. Everyone measures differently. I went up a level when I did this jacket. Though turning a heel was also a graduation moment.

Anyway, without a reason to knit the baby surprise jacket I chose to make one up. Not the cat, a friend’s toddler. After finishing the sweater though it felt really small in the neck. Much smaller than the pictures of other people’s necks. Hence the cat torture and self reassurance.

I think my next personal graduation project will be a sweater for myself. A big person sweater.

kitten in a baby surprise jacket

Sick and Crazy

Do not try Judy’s Magic Cast On with toothpicks and lace. Also, I have downgraded my crazy from tiny doll socks to a sweater for a plastic T-Rex. Got a cute little ribbed neck with 4″ 3-0 steel double points. Pictures will occur if the crazy continues into the weekend. For now I must go to sleep so I can attempt work tomorrow.

Socks Progress

Socks are going well. Except for a little embroidery on my crazy quilt while watching a movie last night the socks are my only project. Since that means simply knitting in circles I am likely to try for a more interesting project on the side. Or not. So far nothing is jumping out at me except the idea to make legwarmers to match my cowl.

Kitten looking at the progress on my socks
The cat’s name is Pirate and we call her our kitten. She’s only three.

Stitch Definition

I was searching for a nice little project for the leftover yarn from my cowl, maybe a headband or matching cap, when I came across a phrase that suddenly made everything make sense.  “Must have good stitch definition.”  That’s it!  That’s the phrase for why the lace in my cowl is more texture than lace. The yarn I have does not have good stitch definition.

The phrase itself is very clear but I would have never thought of it myself. My excitement is partially that now I can say to others (or myself) “Does this yarn have good stitch definition? I plan on making lace.” The other half of my excitement is knowing why my cowl turned out so unlacey.

On the topic of unlacey I was perusing one of the blogs of someone who liked one of my posts and found the neatest post about swatches. Not really gauge swatches but just “get to know you” swatches. It made me realize that I should have done a lace swatch on the cowl to see how the yarn felt about the lace pattern.

Go read and enjoy a different way of looking at swatches.

Finding Patterns in Patterns and Directions

My favorite part in directions is the part where the book (or pdf or whatever) says “Continue in this manner until…” It implies a certain base understanding has been achieved. I am not longer following by rote but I am also no longer thinking because the thinking has been done and the doing can begin. I wonder if this is how ice skating feels for some people.

I turned the gusset heel of my sock. Instead of the directions I think about patterns, concepts, the way of the sock. Having increased on the sides to a size that will cup my heel I knitted to the middle of the sole of the sock and then two more. Then I decreased, ssk like a swoosh, knit one and turn. To provide continuity and join the heal turn to the sock I then slip one and purl (seven because that’s a nice not too pointy heel), p2tog (swoosh), purl one and turn. Slip one for togetherness, knit eight (one more than seven), ssk (swoosh), knit one and turn.

I’m gaining speed, look at the directions less. Slip one for togetherness, purl nine (one more than eight, and look purls are odd and knits are even), p2tog (swoosh), purl one and turn. Slip one, knit ten, ssk (swoosh), knit one and turn. Start not being able to count how far I’ve gone. But does it matter? It doesn’t. Odd, even, that’s all interesting but the tactile experience says that I decrease (p2tog or ssk or swoooosh) where there’s a gap, tightly clasping one of the gusset stitches before placing that single stitch like a full stop or a period and turning. Then I imagine I’m ice skating a zig zag where I gather speed, come to a stop with a swoosh and a flurry of sprayed ice, take a single step and then turn to zag (or zig), going further and further each time. It’s no longer count count count, obey, it’s a dance, a fluid laughing grasping one for togetherness dance.

The sock is going well, though not as quickly as my imagination would tell it. I should be done with the right heel soon and then ready to pull the left sock onto the needles with right sock hanging in the round. Once the heels are done it’ll be circles and circles of self striping knits until I switch out for my solid color and rib a cuff. Another week and these socks will be done. I’d say sooner but there are plenty of life things like work and whatnot to fill my time and take me away from my knitting.