Monday, May 31, 2010

The ants go marching one by one

That's really all I can think about whenever I knit Cookie A.'s Kai-Mei sock pattern (this is my second go at it). I just love watching the little lace pattern march across the top of the foot. Something about that progress makes these socks seem quicker to knit than any other pattern. Actually, this is a speedy knit all around - the leg is only moderately high and 3x3 ribbing knits up very quickly. And of course, once you get to the foot, you're done before you know it - the lace is just that fun.

Pattern: Kai-Mei, from Cookie A.'s fantastic book Sock Innovation
Yarn: Shalimar Yarns Zoe Sock in colorway Sprout (I used about 2/3 of the skein on this pair)
Mods: Absolutely none. Just make sure that you have the errata for the pattern (available here).

There is only one part of the pattern that calls for discretion on the part of the knitter and I think it's work a quick note. Cookie doesn't tell you how many rows to knit on the heel flap; she just says to knit for 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 inches. That's great since you can customize for fit, but remember that the lace pattern panel is 15 stitches wide. In other words, a heel flap with at least 17 slipped stitches along the sides will work best. That gives you one stitch for the edge of the heel/bottom of the foot and one stitch to put with the decreases that travel across the foot.

This really is one of my absolute favorite sock patterns and I'd knit it again (and again, and again) in a heartbeat. Actually, I just might have to do that since I've worn holes in the heels of the pair I made for myself last year. As you can see, I exercised an impressive (at least to me) degree of self restraint last week when I put these in the mail and sent them off as a present for my grandmother's birthday.

I wasn't the only one taken by these socks. Nayyir came out to investigate the photo shoot.

The little guy, while quite shy in many respects, really likes hamming it up for the camera. I think he'd make a great model, don't you?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Catching up

In between getting the apartment settled and jumping into a huge new work project, I managed to finish my mother's day present. Better late than never, right?

Yarn: Handmaiden Camelspin (50/50 camel/silk) - one skein
Needles: size 6 for the body and size 8 for the applied i-cord bind-off
Size: I worked 23 edging points before the final chart. I didn't measure, but the long end of the triangle is around 5' long. 

Once you get past the first chart, this is a very straightforward knit (the shawl is worked bottom up from that bottom point). When I was in between work projects and had plenty of time on my hands, I found the main part of the shawl a bit boring. That said, as soon as work picked up again, this project became a relaxing break. 

I can't say enough good things about this yarn. The drape is fantastic and the color just glows. 

That's all for now. I've got a couple more knits that are almost done - I just need to take care of the ends and snap some pictures. Hopefully I'll have more to share later this week.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Falling behind

I totally missed mother's day (sorry Mom!). Actually, I called both my mother and my grandmother (and visited with my MIL the day before) but my Brandywine Shawl is still not done.

I wish I could say that I have fantastic knitting shots to share with you but this is all I've got:

You might have noticed that the background is a bit different. That's right: the DH and I moved to a new apartment a little over a week ago and boy, has it been an adventure. First of all, the new building is fantastic, the management is friendly and responsive, I can walk to work, we're much closer to more public transit, and the entire complex is non-smoking! But it took us 7 days to get electricity in the new apartment.

That's right. 7 days. I've transferred service online in every other move we've made and never had a problem with it until two Saturdays ago when I walked into the new apartment, flicked the light switch, and nothing happened. I called the power company and discovered that the previous tenant never cancelled service but just stopped paying, causing the power company to come out and physically turn off power (and meaning that they had to come back and physically turn it back on) - not something that they do during the weekend.

So we bought some battery-powered lanterns and camped out over the weekend. I called the power company again on Monday to discover that when service gets disconnected for non-payment, the online ordering functions don't work, but there's no mechanism to inform customers of that fact. I went ahead and placed an order for new service and was told that it would be another 1-3 business days before someone could come out and physically turn power back on. 

On Thursday, after three days of calling for updates and pleading with the power company to please turn the power back on, we learned that a technician was finally coming. Nothing happened. I called again on Friday morning and was told that my first order for new service had been cancelled and that they started up another one (with another 1-3 business days timeline) because the technician couldn't find the building. It's a big residential complex - the only one for several blocks on this stretch of the road - and easily found with google maps. At this point, I burst into tears and turned to the DH, who had taken a half-day off from work to see if he could help with the power company, and asked him to go speak with the building management. An hour later, we had power. 

Note to self: don't listen to the utility company - just go to the management office first.

Anyway, I've been knitting away at the Brandywine shawl. But mostly I've been unpacking and working on a last big work project. That's almost done so I'm looking forward to a week and a half of mini-vacation before jumping into a busy summer.

Hopefully I'll have some fun knitting pics to share soon!