Finally

I started knitting my Lissajous Socks in July of 2011. They were the For Yarn’s Sake knitalong that month. After the knitalong ended I only really worked on them for one hour a week–For Yarn’s Sake Sock Hour. (Pro Tip: the hour before the open knit chat is sock hour, if you come to sock hour you can get a really good seat for knit chat.) Well, after a year plus of one hour sessions, they are done!

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What’s that you say? The last time I showed them to you they were white? Oh yeah. I may have dyed them. You see, they got dirty. While in progress, they fell out of my bag at Red Robin one night while we were having dinner after knit chat. I didn’t notice, and when I retrieved them from the restaurant a week later, they had clearly been left on the floor for a long time and were soaked with nasty mop water. In the picture below you can see the dirty parts on the outside compared to the part of the sock in the middle of the picture where I had joined a fresh clean ball.
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After about two straight days of washing they were cleaner, but still discolored. Enter the magic that is Jacquard dye. I pulled out my little pot of “Lilac” and after half an hour, I had this:
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Dying is seriously magical because you put the dye in the water, and the water turns a very dark version of whatever color you are using. Then you put the yarn or fabric in and the dye gets sucked up into it. The water goes back to being clear once all the dye has been sucked up. It’s pretty cool. And look, you can’t tell they were ever dirty.
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The pattern will make you extremely comfortable with twisted stitches and 1×1 cables. Also, the cable pattern is only charted, so if you have problems reading charts you might want to brush up on your skills before attempting this one.
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These are one of my biggest knitting accomplishments. I would definitely rate this as harder than most of the sweaters I’ve made. Finish anything big lately?
On the reading front, I have dropped everything to start The Casual Vacancy. Yes, I am a sheep.
Go check out other people finished projects that Tami has rounded up.

Knit-a-long

May marks the beginning of the second year of the monthly knit-a-longs at my LYS For Yarn’s Sake.  Each month the shop picks a project and hosts some time once a week to work on it, get help, trade advice and modifications–it’s lovely.  I haven’t participated in all of them but have done quite a few.

Last May it was Jared Flood’s Rock Island.  It’s extremely intricate double-sided lace.  I got about 12 repeats into the border–you need 71… I’m planning to go back to it now that school is over and I can focus on things like double sided lace.  Here’s what I have:

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Pathetic, I know.

June was not a month I participated.  The project was the Radian Yoke sweater by Wendy Barnard.  I love this cute summer tee and plan to make it eventually, I just didn’t have the time or (if you can believe it) the right yarn.
July and August were devoted to the same project.  The Lissajous Socks by Cookie A.   I’m still actively working on these.  Actually, “actively” might be a bit strong.  “Reluctantly” is more accurate.  Now that the knit-a-long is well over I’ve only been working on them for an hour a week at sock hour at the yarn shop.  I have one complete and I’m almost through the big chart for the second one.
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Turns out, slow and steady does NOT win the race.
 

September was also a month I participated.  And also a project I have yet to finish.  I’m also still working on my Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti.  This one is so close to being done I can taste it.  All I have left is the left front of the cardigan.  I don’t have a photo since finishing the right front, but I did snap one after I had finished the back and sleeves.  Hopefully I will be showing this off as an FO soon.
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October was another intense lace project–the True Love Stole by Wendy Johnson.  This was a project that a lot of the knitters had a hard time getting into (the chart is a 45-row repeat!) and I doubt I’ll ever really sit down to make this one.  I do think it’s lovely though–just too fiddly for me currently.  Maybe someday I’ll want something really fiddly and I’ll come back to this one.
November and December were devoted to the Larch Cardigan by Amy Christoffers.  I didn’t get in on this project either because finals were just heating up for fall term and I didn’t have the time.
January was scheduled as a “catch-up” month and I spent some extra quality time with Dahlia–after you finish the lace back it’s a never ending sea of stockinette.
February was the first project that I actually finished (don’t judge!) and only because it was a hat.  The Rustling Leaves Beret by Alana Dakos was a nice quick knit and allowed me to use up some silk-alpaca handspun I was itching to find a project for.
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Yeah for small victories!
 

March and April was another two-month project with a twist.  We got to choose to either make the Gnarled Oak Cardigan or the Wildflower Cardigan both also by Alana Dakos.  Some crazy women decided to knit both since we had two months.  In two months I didn’t even manage to finish the back piece of the Wildflower.  I don’t have a picture of my progress yet since right now it’s just a big slab of stockinette.  All of the fun is on the front of this one.  When I get something more interesting than a rectangle of stockinette I’ll show it off.
Now, year two is kicking off with a beautiful little shawlette from Ysolda Teague–the Pear Drop.  Do you think I will be able to finish within the month?

Lost and Found Girl

Are you a fan of Seinfeld? You should be.  It’s funny.  Trust me.  There is an episode where Elaine becomes obsessed with the idea that Jerry is “Even Steven.”  Whenever something bad happens to him, something good happens to balance it out and vice-versa.  Elaine tosses one of Jerry’s $20 bills out the window, 5 minutes later Jerry finds a $20 in the pocket of an old coat.  I have a similar sort of super power–I am Lost and Found girl.

I am constantly losing misplacing my stuff, but it always comes back to me.  My purse has been left in innumerable dressing rooms, or draped over the back of restaurant chairs.  Traveling there’s 50/50 chance that something will be left in a hotel room.  Every time I’ve called and either been able to get the item shipped to me, or I was close enough that I could swing back and get it.  One time, I even lost misplaced my iPod for 3 weeks before it turned up in a bar.  I walked in (after having not been there for three weeks) and the bartender, who I didn’t know, looked at me and said “I have your iPod here.”  It helped that there was a photo of me set as the wallpaper.

I think that there are people in the world with certain types of luck.  My grandma wins things in her church raffel all. the. time.  Way, way, way more than probability should allow for.  My father can always always find a good parking spot.  Even if the lot is completely full, someone in the front row will back out just as he’s driving by.  And, for whatever reason, I misplace things, but they’re never lost for good.

Such was the case recently with my Lissajous Socks.  I have one sock finished and am doggedly working on the second.  After knit-night several of the knitters get together for dinner.  One week, we went to Red Robbin.  The next week as I’m putting my knitting bag together to get ready for knit-night my socks are nowhere to be found.  I check at the knitting shop that night and they’re not there.  I call Red Robbin and the man who answers the phone tells me that there is absolutely nothing matching my description in the lost and found at all.  Liar.  I drive over to the Red Robbin and low and behold, my socks are sitting at the bottom of the lost and found where they have probably been all week.

They were wet (I think they were probably found when the floor was being mopped) and dirty but they were certainly there.  If they had really been lost I would have been out about $27 in yarn as well more than 30 hours of work.  I’m a bit steamed that the lying-liar-McJerk who answered the phone straight up told me that my socks weren’t there when they clearly were.  If I were a more trusting sort of person, I’d be screwed and my socks likely would have been tossed out after laying lonely an unclaimed for weeks.

These socks are too awesome for that.

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For Cathie and Patt

Pictures of Lissajous.

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I finished the first one at knit chat tonight.  These (I say “these” even though the second one is not cast on yet) have been worked on exclusively at sock hour since July.  There are several reasons (besides the fact that they only get one hour a week of attention) that these are taking so long.  Reason one: big-ass chart on the cuff.
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Reason two: same big ass chart on the heel, only this time worked back and forth.
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Reason three: calf shaping leading to over 100 stitches at the widest part.
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Just for fun, try taking a picture of the back of your calf in a pencil skirt.  I couldn’t be bothered to change outfits before my photo shoot.  Luckily, I live alone so no one was here to mock my strange gymnastic poses.
 
Reason four: um, hello, they’re KNEE socks.  Knees are many inches away from toes.  25 inches.
I came home a put the sock on in a display of knitterly pride.  (Oh come on, you’ve worn a single sock just off the needles, you have. Admit it.)  Ryan came over for some pasta and I started cooking with the sock still on.  Then I had a heart-stopping moment when a drip of bright red pasta sauce dripped off the serving spoon toward the floor.  It missed the sock, but I kid you not, I gasped out loud.  The sock came off and got put away somewhere safe.  Disaster averted.

Fancy Socks

Ever since May, For Yarns Sake, my closest LYS, has been doing monthly knit-a-longs.  I started the May project–don’t ask–but skipped the June one.  When I heard what the July project was going to be, I just had to join again.  Per my suggestion (I don’t know if they chose because of my suggestion, but I’m pretty sure I brought the pattern to the attention of the people who did the choosing) they/we are knitting Lissajous Socks by Cookie A.
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These beauties come in both a knee-high and standard sock length.  I’m of course doing the knee-high (look at the pretty!)  I’m enjoying working on these, though they are a bit slow-going.  There’s more stitches around than a standard sock because of the calf shaping and there are 4 charts to follow at once.  It’s a good thing I’m enjoying these, because as you can see, I’ve got a ways to go…

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Why do my legs suddenly seem so much longer than usual?

I’m just over half-way through the first big chart, and I’m looking forward to the “ease” of focusing on just the cables and calf shaping for a while.

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I had a small accident in which I continued to rib even though the directions clearly (maybe not that clearly) tell you to stop ribbing after 18 rows.  I was on row 33 when I realized this.  I did no rip back.  Instead, I knit to each wrong purl column and dropped the stitches down individually for 15 rows, then picked them back up the right way.  This fix-it crochet hook was extremely helpful, and made the whole process way more painless than it could have been. Look at the delicate cables.

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Sorry my pictures are ass.  They were taken inside by me.  If these were finished, I’d have no trouble running around outside taking a billion pictures of my socks and thumbing my nose at anyone who thinks it’s weird to take sock pictures.  However, even I draw the line at running around outside with a thin stip of sock halfway up my leg holding the attached ball of yarn in one hand, the camera in the other, and hitching up my skirt to try to get a picture that shows off my twisted stitches.  For me, that’s more of an indoor activity.  Expect better pictures when/if I get these done.


The yarn I’m using is Spud and Chloe Fine.  I’m still forming an opinion about it, sometimes I love it, sometimes I’m not so sure.  I’ll give a full report after I have more than 2 inches knit with it…  I want to be sure I really give it a fair chance.

I do have one question about the pattern though…. Why the *^&$ does it make you cast on, then do make-ones in the first &(*^%$# row, then, in the next row, make you use the make-ones to do &^%#@!) twisted-stitch cables?  Hmmm?  That I’d like to know.  Why not just cast on all the stitches rather than increase on the first row?  If there is a logical practical reason I may be able to accept the maddening torture that was the first two rows of this pattern.  If there is no good reason, then the only logical conclusion is that Cookie A is a mean diabolical hateful woman who secretly plots to drive sock knitters insane.  My progress on my Pomatomous would seem to suggest the latter.