Monday, March 17, 2008

Trekking Circus Socks

Because 3 projects on the go are never enough and I was intrigued to see how the Trekking Circus yarn I had picked up in a swap would turn out, I started ANOTHER pair of socks.

This time, it appears that the 2mm needles are the size required for this particular 4-ply yarn.

Have you see how small 1mm is? How can 0.25mm make such a difference???

Now I know why this colourway is called circus. All I can think of are clowns.

24-stitch figure-eight cast on, toe-up socks, 68 stitches around... will probably rib once I get to the leg.

I think these socks will go to a friend whose family seems to compete in giving her the most unsuitable birthday presents of all time. This year, one member bought her a single ticket to a charity dinner (she has a boyfriend) that is overwhelmingly attended by the rich and snobbish people she has spent her life avoiding. I've already promised to shout her and the boyfriend a dinner at her favourite Japanese restaurant as both a birthday gift and an apology for bursting out laughing when I heard about this year's family present.

I hope these socks will also raise a smile.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Long time, no posting...

I've been hiding on Ravelry, knitting and dealing with various boring health issues (I'm OK now).

The stash-busting is going well. I found a stray skein of Noro Kureyon (colour 139) which I turned into a top-down ribbed beanie. I love the colours but have plenty of Noro beanies already. I probably will send it off as my contribution to the Ravelry International stash-busting exchange.

I finished the Lollipop top-down beanie. In the end there was only enough yarn for a baby beanie but I'm sure it will go to a good cause.

I also finished and felted the Messenger Bag for the Australian Bag Lady swap. It was another project that didn't work out quite as intended but I think in the end it was ok. My original plan was to make the straps adjustable in length but they ended up felting into a sort of fat roll that could not take a buckle. So I decided to make the strap into a "design feature" by sewing the two ends as loops - I checked with my swapee as to the exact length she wanted the strap. I secured the loops with jeans buttons and also used these buttons to add interest to the flap.

I found two skeins of of grey and black Paton's Patonyle that I remember buying on sale at Cleggs some time last year. It took me a while to get these socks going; it was a very Goldilocks experience. Initially I tried to use a 2mm circular needle but it was too small and the tension was too tight; then I tried some 2.25mm and 2.50mm DPNs but they were too fidgety to get going properly with and I decided that I preferred knitting socks using the Magic Loop method. I had read lots of good things about the Knitpicks Harmony needles and Tapestry Craft were having a free-postage sale, so I ordered two circulars - 2.25mm and 2.5mm. The 2.5mm was too big and the tension was too loose but the 2.25mm needle turned out to be just right! Considering how small a 1 mm is, it's amazing what a difference 0.25mm makes.

I have to agree with all the positive reports of the Harmony needles; the points are a nice shiny hard wood which is neither too slippery nor too grippy, and the connecting cable is very flexible, with no snags.

After trying and frogging several patterns I decided to stick with my favourite plain toe-up ribbed socks because in the end this is what I like to wear.