Sunday, January 02, 2005

Post-Christmas Knitting

I'll post more about last week's adventures tomorrow, but before I forget here's a (not so) quick rundown of what I've been knitting since finishing my Christmas knitting on the 24th.

First, I immediately cast on a pair of socks for me. The first one is done:

I used Lorna's Laces Shepard Sock in "Sweetie" with the Crusoe pattern from Knitty. I absolutely love the way this sock has turned out. If it wasn't for the problems with the heel, this would've been a near-perfect socknitting experience.

I wanted to try branching out my sock knitting abilities, and throw some new heels and toes into my repetoire. So I flipped through Folk Socks and decided to give the half-handkerchief heel a whirl. No problem. Right? This is what I landed up with:

I got Eyore to help me model. Here's a better shot of what I think is the problem:

Now, keep in mind I've never knitted a half-handkerchief heel before, but is it supposed to be that pointy at the back? I tried slipping it on my foot, and no amount of stretching could get it to round out. It looked really, really bad. So what did I do wrong? I had 44 stitches for the heel, so I suspect that the large number of stitches just emphasized the triangle-nature of the heel - fewer stitches would've meant less of a point... I think. Anyway, if anyone out there with half-handkerchief heel experience can tell me what I did wrong (if anything), I'd appreciate the advice.

In the meantime, I frogged the heel, and went back to my usual band heel (or whatever the hell it's really called).

So that was my knitting minor disaster. Here's my major one:

Looks great, doesn't it? It's a cable-knit hat from the Winter 03/04 Vogue Knitting. No problem. Cast on 114, k2p2 for 3 inches, switch to size 11 needles, and cable until the cows come home.

After several hours of work, this is what I had to show for it:

What went wrong? Somewhere in my convoluted brain I forgot how to count while casting on. I cast on and on and on, and started to worry that I would run out of yarn. So I counted my stitches, cast on a few more, and had 90. And then somehow I made the logical jump that if I cast on 14 more stitches, I'd have the correct number of 114. So I did. And I counted them all. And somewhere in my brain, 114 began to turn into 104. So I started knitting, and did 3 inches of k2p2 rib on needles that are really too small for this yarn, and then I started to cable. 10 stitches from the end, I realized that I had too few stitches. Pattern error? Could it be? I had downloaded the errata for this pattern before the holidays... I didn't remember an error in the cap pattern. I scanned the pattern again, doing the math in my head, and it all seemed okay. Then I counted my stitches. 104. AArrggh!

I haven't yet re-cast on for that hat. Soon, but not today.

So that was my knitting major disaster. My knitting success came in the form of this:

It's the very beginnings of Vivian Hoxbro's Rainbow Jacket from Shadow Knitting. I bought it as a kit years ago, and am finally making the push to get it done before spring. I reversed the color scheme since I like the purple more than the lime, and wanted to have more of that showing. Otherwise, it's smooth sailing. My row gauge is a bit wonky (I went up 4 needle sizes to get stitch gauge), but I think I can accomodate for that at the shoulder. So stay tuned for this to potentially turn into another knitting disaster. ;)

Oh, I almost forgot. I tried to darn Val's socks (pictures later), and decided it would just be faster to knit her a new pair than to try and repair these. I must be darning impaired.

I think it's time for some post-Christmas chocolate. Happy knitting everyone!


At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I almost always use that heel...but modified a bit. If you are a tight knitter, this technique makes for a very pointy heel. Try putting a few more stitches in the centre before starting the short rows. Know what I mean? Makes it WAY less circus freak.



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