Thursday, October 28, 2010

Down to the wire...

Socktoberfest is quickly coming to a close, and as I'm waiting for the last clue for the Mystery Sock to be posted at (or around?) midnight Friday, I thought I'd take these moments to post a catch-up blog entry. I'll start with my mystery sock progress...

This is what it looks like after Clue #4. I've since finished the second sock up to this point as well. This marks a coup for me in this Socktoberfest Mystery Sock knitting challenge. In both of the past two years, I went gung ho on clues 1 - 3, but then when I got to the foot clue -- which always feels like the longest part of the sock to me -- I've petered out completely. I didn't finish my 2008 mystery socks until March 2009, and I didn't finish the 2009 pair until February of 2010. That I am on track to finish the 2010 pair not only IN 2010, but within the month of (S)ocktober, well, it's just a miracle! It's a Socktoberfest miracle! ;)

In other sock knitting, I'm still on the gusset increases on my second Riff sock, but I remain optimistic that I will also finish that sock before midnight on Sunday as well.

All of this tiny sock needle knitting is starting to get to my hands a little (ever since I've learned to knit continental when doing socks, I find my hands stay very tense as I knit, I think due to the tensioning needs of the finer gauge yarn), so I decided to cast on another project using US8s.

This is the start of the Caldavos cardigan, pattern by Thea Colman. Can I say that Thea is quickly becoming one of my favorite designers? I loved working on her Nantucket Red design earlier this year, and this pattern promises to be as enjoyable, as far as I can see. Her patterns are very well written, nicely detailed, and I love how she includes notes on how each person can best customize the garments to her own body. I know that is something a lot of us try to do anyway, but if you're a less adventurous knitter, or just aren't confident enough to make your own modifications to a pattern, having those notes within the pattern is a really nice feature. I'll keep you posted on my love affair with Thea and her Caldavos pattern as I progress through it. Right now, my focus remains on these two pair of socks, so it will still be a few days before I made major headway on this project.

And soon there will be another sweater in the works. I can't say a lot about it right now, as it is a test knit, but I will say it will be made from handspun...

This shot represents approximately 24 oz of BFL from Briar Rose Fibers that I (mostly) woolen spun to a heavy worsted weight. The yarn at the back half of the shot is all for the main body of the sweater. The foreground yarn in the rather mustardy shade is, tentatively, set to be the contrast. I'm conflicted, though. Something about the shade of that contrasting yarn just does not jive with the main colors. My other option is to use some Plymouth Tweed in a dark brown, which, colorwise, works much more to my liking, but the spin of the Plymouth yarn is very different than that of my handspun, so I'm not sure how it will look. I'm still toying with the configuration of colors for this project. I know the answer is there. I just need to wait for it to show itself to me. (The answer will not involve either over-dyeing nor buying and spinning yet more fiber, even though both of those options have popped into my brain.)

I will add that this spinning project has taught me one thing: I do not enjoy spinning heavier weight yarns nearly as much as I do lighter weight. DK, fingering...those I truly enjoy. Worsted, I don't mind. This heavier worsted? Meh. Not so much. And I'm just not sure why. I think part of it is because it seemed to take forEVer to spin enough to get the yardage I needed for this project. Granted, spinning finer yarns take a while too, but at least there is more yardage for the effort.

Lastly, a whim...
...crocheted spiral hexagons from leftover sock yarn. As evidenced in my yarn room pictures recently, I have a lot of little leftover balls of sock yarn. I've been hoarding them not only as decorative items, but ultimately to be used for this sock yarn blanket. Now, I love making mitred squares. Honestly, I do. That's often my go-to pattern if I have to make an afghan square or a dishcloth. However, the thought of knitting several hundred of those puppies out of sock yarn just really hasn't excited me, thus I never bothered to start the project. (Well, that and the fact that I already have an afghan WIP that I swore I'd finish before I started any more blankets, however I have this sneaking suspicion that I'm going to run out of yarn before the afghan reaches it's target size, so I've been ignoring it. Plus it's being knit on US11s, which pretty much feel like tree trunks in my hands. I'm not a big needle kinda girl.)

However, I started watching the Round the Twist videocast several months ago, and Carin often shows her little crocheted hexagons that she's making, presumably for a blanket (I'm honestly not sure, but that's my guess). I thought that was a fantastic idea! I'm not a very experienced crocheter, but I do enjoy crocheting on occasion. It's a nice change from knitting. So after the last RtT videocast, I pulled out my Crochet Stitch Bible, found a pattern for a hexagon that looked like I could handle and gave it a go. The next day, I made another one and seamed it to the first. Oh my goodness! These are too much fun to make! I can do them while I'm sitting here at the computer reading or watching something. Easy peasy.

After making the second one, I went and measured my bed, then I came back and did the math. I would need to crochet 1190 of these hexagons to make a coverlet for my queen-sized bed. If I make four hexagons a day, seaming as I go, I could have a coverlet completed in under a year. For whatever reason, that strikes me as incredibly doable. I know, logistically speaking, I won't make four a day, but it's still a goal to work with.

The biggest catch to this theory is that I know I do not have enough sock yarn leftovers to accommodate an entire coverlet. Each of my hexagons have used about 2 grams of yarn, which means I'd need the equivalent of nearly 24 100-gram skeins of sock yarn to finish the project. I'm quite sure my leftovers don't come to anywhere near that. Will need to consider how to beg, borrow, or trade for more, I suppose. But I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Socktoberfest socks look awesome! I didn't knit ANY socks for Socktoberfest, so I'll be picking up some socks later in the year instead. ;)

I am so impressed by your blanket/afghan idea. Wow, that will certainly be a huge project... looking forward to seeing the progress as you go through it!