Monday, December 15, 2014

yipes stripes

Actual Knitting Content!
This is the story of my most recent knitting project, finished the night before work recommenced on the porch. 

High on the thrilling success of my first knitalong adventure, I joined a Random Rummage CraftaLong set up by the lovely podcaster Chrissy at Stitched Together. This began with a "rummage" through existing stash, then choosing a project to suit the randomly-selected yarn.

My stash includes several weights and fibers - cotton, alpaca, cashmere, wool - but mostly in small quantities, so the project might have been anything from a dishcloth to a scarf. But my "rummage" (using a stash list and a random number generator) turned up a skein of dark brown merino in fingering-weight. So the obvious project was:
More Socks!

Piper helped a lot with these socks. She enjoys knitting,
and will often stand next to my chair with her head on my knee:

"It's Quality Control! Someone has to count those stitches!"

The dark brown yarn turned out to be really difficult on my aging eyes. Being an experienced knitter and all, I knew there were stitches somewhere below my needles, but I certainly could not distinguish between them. All my tricks - light-colored needles, a bright light, embiggening glasses - helped only to a limited extent. So as relief for my eyes, I began adding stripes of other colors, using yarn left over from previous socks.
You may even recognize some of these colors:

Does it look odd to see yarn in a coffeepot?
Here comes a Knitting Tip!

One can buy truly lovely ceramic or wooden(!) "yarn bowls" to keep a working ball of yarn from rolling away, but I've always taken the low-budget route. First I used a deep mixing bowl, then I tried a teapot. Then I came upon the best idea yet: a clear coffeepot with a flip-up lid and a big, easy-to-grip handle. I've picked these up at tag sales for a dollar or two each. They keep the yarn clean, and the convenient handle is very helpful for a person who knits in several locations, indoors and outdoors.

This beautiful Cinnamon Queen hen (sadly no longer with us, but she had a long and very happy life) used to hop up on my lawn chair whenever she saw me knitting outdoors, and watch the ball of yarn bob around in a bowl as I worked.
Very intent, she was!
"It's Quality Control!
That dog knows nothing about gauge!"

Did you know that a curious hen can suddenly reach into a yarn bowl and pluck your whole ball of yarn out and toss it onto the ground? It's true. With a glass coffeepot, a hen can enjoy the entertainment value of watching the ball jerkily unroll as the knitting progresses, and that's it.

These socks turned into a lot of fun.
I just made it up as I went along,
trying new things, ripping back, then trying something else.

All the ripping back was made painless by the use of lifelines.
I never could have gotten those brown stitches back on the needles without the dental floss lifelines!

When the power went out at Thanksgiving,
I did the heelflaps by candlelight.

 I think these socks will be a lot of fun to wear.

Here's a link to the ravelry project page,
in case anyone is interested in the yarny details.


Well, the Monday sun will soon be up,
and the Gable Resolution will be undertaken again.
Thank you all for your very interesting and helpful comments!
Much appreciated!
Stay tuned  :)