Sunday, 31 July 2011

Frakking Socks - Episode IV - Abandon all hope

Deadline day. I had til midnight to knit another fiddly heel, two feet and two toes.

My camera ran out of juice to document progress but I did take a crummy webcam photo on Mr G's laptop.

Frakking webcam socks

Luckily the weather wasn't enticing us outside so I had an excuse to sit in my parents dining room and knit. I did have to stop for lunch, and to chat to Max the notmycat, but mostly I knit.

I work well to deadlines and worked out how to do more complicated cables without a cable needle, making the socks grow much faster, though with slightly gappier cables. I need to work on that, though a bit of tweeking at the end will neaten out the gaps.

By 11pm I had finished one sock and had a "Viper V" and the toe to go on another sock. I made it to the toe by midnight but couldn't knit anymore. Plus I had an early start in the morning. So near, and yet so far....

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Frakking Socks - Episode III

As I was visiting my parents I couldn't spend all weekend knitting, especially on a lovely day out to Durham.

I didn't knit when we stopped for a picnic lunch by the River Tees as I was too busy feeding the ducks and taking in the view.

Lunch time

If I'd been knitting plain socks I might have been able to knit and walk. But I wasn't, so I didn't knit as I walked along the Tees, taking in the lovely scenery.

River Tees

I also didn't knit when we were trying to spot Durham Cathedral through the trees

Spot the Cathedral

or when we examined this interesting sculpture


or when we visited the Old Fulling Mill , Museum of Archeology which was a bargain at £1 to visit.

Old Fulling Mill

Inside there was an exhibit of Chinese Funeral stuff and also British History, mostly of the surrounding area. I thought you might like these Bronze age spinning whorls.

Bronze age whorl

I didn't knit while over looking the Tees either but did take a photo of sock no. 2.

Frakking socks in Durham

I also didn't knit (yes there is a theme here) when we went into Durham Cathedral

Nice knocker

as there was too much to look at including the final resting place of the Venerable Bead, wonderful carvings and the shafts of light entering the main atrium (sadly no photos allowed).

Durham Cathedral

There was a wedding taking place while we were inside so we were treated to bell ringing and some superb organ playing, the bass went right through me. If I was religious and the marrying type I'd be seriously tempted to get married there just for the organ music. It was thrilling.

I did knit on the park and ride back to the car park, while munching on some rhubarb fudge Mr Gingerknits had discovered in the market place (there are also a few habadashery and yarn stalls in the market place, some had decent acrylic and nice acrylic wool blends), and in the car on the way home. I wasn't driving.

Knitting Frakking socks

I also knit for most of the evening, watching Kick Ass, which did, ahem, Kick Ass, and had finished both legs (I didn't make the cuffs as long as the ones in the pattern as I have short legs) and one heel, which was tricker than I thought it would be which induced a fit of swearing and cries of "why didn't I knit plain socks!". Though where would the fun have been in that?

We also popped out for a quick stroll round the field behind my parents house, which had sheep in it. Most of them were Texcels, so not of much interest to me, but we also spotted two Blue Faced Leicesters. Sadly they had already been shorn but it was nice seeing where one of my favourite wools comes from.

Next on Frakking socks: Much more swearing and a deadline!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Frakking socks - Episode II

I was up at stupid o'clock on Friday to get the train to Yorkshire to see my parents. I thought I'd sleep for the whole journey but the challenge was too much to resist so I did knit most of the way.

Frakking socks

Writing this in retrospect I can't remember how far I got with it but also knit in the car from the train to my parents house and for most of the day at my parents, taking breaks to chat to the cat from next door who sleeps in my parents garden.

My parent's notmycat

Nice tache, eh?

There were some dropped stitches, cables twisting the wrong way and swearing but also some constructive knitting.

Next time on Frakking Socks, a trip to Durham and some swearing.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Frakking Socks - Episode I

On Thursday evening at 5pm on the dot I eagerly cast on the first of my Viper Pilots socks. I also tried out a Google+ hangout for the first time and could see and chat to knitters in the US also casting on their first socks, which was pretty nifty. Unfortunately we don't have a proper microphone so I have to talk through our skype phone which makes knitting at the same time tricky, so I listened to the other knitters chatting away about cast on techniques and the like. I was storming along, on about my third round of ribbing when I realised I'd cast on 10 stitches less than the pattern. While this wasn't a major disaster, as I usually make my socks narrower as I have thin feet and ankles, it did make me take stock of my occasional cockiness and pay more attention. Much like being back at school.

I worked out how to modify the pattern, adding a couple of increases before starting the leg and removing one stitch from the ribbing sections of the pattern making my socks a nice neat 70 stitches rather than the 78 on the pattern.

The fit was going well, however the other thing I had been cocksure about was the difficulty of the pattern. I really enjoy knitting cables but I hadn't looked at how fiddly the cables were on this pattern. Rib 3, then purl one, with all knit stitches being through the back loop. Yes, I can do this but not at speed. This was going to be a lesson in patience and perseverance....

I knit until bedtime and I think completed the first of the "Viper Vs"

Next time on Frakking socks, trains, swearing and a notmycat which is not my notmycat.

Frakking socks - The pilot

I'm about to embark on a daft challenge. I first spotted it on Google+  and after a little poking around on Ravelry found the Can't Sock it Challenge.

The aim is to knit a pair of socks over the four days of Sock Summit, a sock extravaganza taking place in Seattle, and the pattern must have been blogged by the YarnHarlot. I think I an knit a plain pair of socks over four days so have added the challenge of choosing a heavily cabled sock, Viper Pilots by GlennaC.

I was an avid watcher of the new Battlestar Galactica so found the perfect yarn to knit the socks in. It's YarnYard Clan which has great stitch definition for cables. The colourway is unnamed so I have christened it Blue Steel. I was tempted to cut the corners off my pattern print out to add to the BSG geekiness, but I couldn't be bothered.

Cast on time is 9am PST or 5pm BST. I'm itching to get going, suppose I better wind the yarn first...

Frakking socks - 1

I'll try and update my progress here over the weekend. The deadline is midnight on Sunday. Watch this space...

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Knit Nation or Knit Signal?

Last night, when I got home from taking the p/hop stuff to KnitNation and exploring the marvellous marketplace, I planned to write a blog post about all the fab vendors there.

Then I watched the news, and the report from Somalia made me cry. Not just weep softly but full on snot river tears of anger that small children and their families are still suffering from a lack of the most basic and essential resources.

So instead of writing here I wrote here....

...and I lit the knit signal.

You know what to do.