Ephemeral socks

Socks knitted for babies and children are the most ephemeral kind of knitted socks. If they don’t lose them, they swiftly outgrow them. All of the baby sweaters and now toddler things I am knitting remind me of just how quickly Z’s babyhood is passing. She outgrows things, I make more. The outgrown garments serve as physical reminders of her changes.

I persist, perhaps foolishly, with more knitted socks for her. This will be her fifth pair for this year, but I’m making these a wee bit longer and wider than other pairs, hoping that they will fit a little next year rather than being just a little too big this year. prufrock

This is a mashup of my Kiddo Kicks and Prufrocks patterns. I am following the numbers for her size in the Kiddo Kicks (1-3 yr), but I’ve increased a single stitch on the top and bottom to make a better number for Prufrock repeats. I’m repeating the Wave stitch just twice for her size, then finishing the row as specified. These might end up being more like ankle socks since I had only 9.5 grams (40 yards) left when I took this picture. I ended up making the foot a bit longer to allow for more wear in the future.

I have to confess to a very bonehead thing I did on Monday. I pulled up my Prufrock pattern to look at the wave stitch for Z’s socks. In the adult pattern the repeating part of this stitch pattern is worked a total of three times across the foot. For Z’s size I’ll just work it twice. When I was looking at the original pattern it struck me as wrong that I only said to repeat it twice (thinking that it needs to happen a total of three times across the foot, so it should be repeated three times). I was forgetting that it’s done once, then REPEATED twice, for a total of 3 times. I guess in the moment the meaning of “repeat” (meaning it was already done once) was totally lost on me. I issued a correction for the pattern, then about an hour later realized there was nothing wrong with the original, so I issued a correction to my correction. That’s a bit embarrassing…. Ah, well. We’re all fallible human beings.

I wish all my deadlines were knitting related

Still no second mitt here. My stomach is in a few tangles about my dissertation chapters I’m resubmitting tomorrow (or tonight if I hustle). I’m considering this post as a writing warm-up, so it’s allowed.

The Latte Baby Coat irked me again last night. My buttonholes seemed wonky. They’re done the row right before the bind off, and I just don’t like that, so I’m going to rib back the bind off and fix that, again. It’s a small thing, but I was irritated by it last night, so I finished up some more Kiddo Kickskiddo kicksThey make me think of Starbursts or summertime. The darker orange is leftover Dream in Color Starry in Melon Bomb (love that name), and the lighter color is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock Yarn in Saffron. I adore both of these yarns. The Hazel Knits feels like butter.

Back to the grind!


Winter is coming

Cold weather is upon us, more than I would like. Though today is in the nice mild 50 degree (Fahrenheit) range, tomorrow through the beginning of next week is predicted to be in the single digits, with a winter storm warning as well. Brrrrrrrrr! I hope we don’t actually get any dangerous icy conditions or power outages, but just in case, I’ll keep knitting as fast as I can.

_DSC0030These are the latest installment of the Operation Toddler Sock Drawer mission I’m on. The blue is leftover Anzula Squisy in Denim. It’s so very very soft. I ran out, so I used up the remainder of some Koigu KPPPM. Now Z has 3 finished pairs. My sense of urgency about her sock needs is somewhat quelled now. She does need a second hat. Her little muffin hat has gone missing. I started a new one last night out of some Manos Maxima in Highlighter. It’s highlighter yellow, so she’ll be easy to spot.

I also realized last night after I finished my fourth ball of yarn on Matt’s sweater that it’s highly likely that I’m going to run out of yarn. Boo! I weighed the back of his sweater and it was 196 grams, almost 2 full balls. I did add about an inch in length, but I thought I would still be fine since the 41.75″ size calls for 1255 yards and I had 1320, and I’m making his sweater a bit narrower than that size. I didn’t get to finish the sleeves before starting the 5th of 6 balls, so I think I will come up short. I ordered another skein last night just in case, and I really hope it’s a close match. I guess I can always stripe two balls if I must.

Cross your fingers for me that we don’t get a bad storm! Hope your day is warm and full of great knitting projects.

Cyber Monday!

I just realized that I can participate in Cyber Monday, because I have patterns online for sale. Ha. How about 20% off all of my patterns until 24 hours from the time of this post? Let’s do it. No coupon code necessary.

As for knitting, I’m mostly working on Hugo sleeves. They seem to be taking forever, but I’m finally getting close to the armhole shaping, so that’s something. I should have a picture soon. It’s hard to grab good pictures after work these days! The light is nearly all gone by the time I get off work, and I slacked a bit over the holiday weekend.

Instead, I will show you some new sparkly toddler socks: IMG_20131202_095018I went to see Catching Fire yesterday and I was able to finish another pair (picture soon) and start these. I cheated a little bit and got the toes started at home because I thought that might be difficult in the dark. I finished the first pair to the bind off row and left the bind off for home, then picked these up. This is some leftover Dream in Color Starry in Melon Bomb. I love this yarn. This is from when Starry was made with actual little strands of silver and it’s a gorgeous subtle sparkle.

After this pair, Z will officially have 4 pairs of socks. I still plan on some baby Prufrock socks to match the version I’m working on for me. Five pairs should do for this winter. My Operation Toddler Sock Drawer (inspired by The Knitmore Girls‘ Operation Sock Drawer) continues.

Operation warm toddler feet!

I whipped up more baby socks. This is my toe-up toddler sock pattern, with a 1×1 rib for the cuff this time. Z needs more socks as it gets colder! My title is inspired by The Knitmore Girls Operation Sock Drawer. Z had just one pair of socks until today. I feel like 4-5 is a good number to get her through this winter. Wool socks can be worn a few times without washing for non-stinky kiddo feet. Sometimes I wear my own for more than one day at a time…shhhh. Wool is pretty self-cleaning and dirt resistant.

kiddo kicks

These were made using leftover yarn from her Pinwheel Baby Blanket. It’s Dream in Color Knitosophy in Princess. I’m starting to get really excited about sock leftovers now that I see them as potential kiddo socks! It seemed absurdly difficult to try to capture a picture of them on her feet, but one of these days I’ll get her to slow down and hold still for more than a second. She’s newly walking and is ready to zoom all over the place.

Those socks went off the needles, and these immediately went on: kiddo kicks-2The yarn is Anzula Squishy, leftover from my Earlybird socks. This yarn is so so so heavenly. I held off wearing my Earlybirds because they seemed too precious, and I’ve since started and they’re amazingly soft. I had about 25 grams left of the yarn, so I’m making a pair of plain socks for Z. Operation warm baby feet!

Seven years later.

It’s my 7 year blogiversary! Heck yes. I think this blog is getting better with age, or at least it gets increasingly more fun for me to write. How can we not improve at something we routinely practice? I really wish I was celebrating my blogiversary at Rhinebeck, but maybe I’ll get to do that next year. Hope all of you Rhinebeck goers are having a blast!

Here is one of the secret projects: sock trio-2I got to hand over the trio of socks to the parents at their son’s 1st birthday party yesterday. They indulged me and opened the gift before we had to leave.

sock trio

Classy as hell

They’re a colorful sight.

sock trio-3I hope they fit little Charles. I tried to measure his foot against my hand when we were over at their house for a play date last month. These, and a pair for Z have comprised my Socktober work thus far, but the month isn’t over! The pattern is my own: Kiddo Kicks. If you want details about the yarns, check the Ravelry project pages here, here, and here (left to right).

I was really hoping to release the cardigan pattern with my blogiversary, but it’s still in tech editing. I will definitely be done in time for NaKniSweMo and I plan on releasing it with a bit of a discount for the occasion. I’d like to be generous for my blogiversary, so I’ll gift 3 commenters (chosen at random) with one of my patterns of their choice gifted to them on Ravelry or through email. This can include the future men’s cardigan pattern, which I’ll be able to gift as soon as it’s released. I’ll pick the winners on Wednesday by 10 am. Please leave your Ravelry name in the comments, or make sure you use a working email when you leave a comment.

Thanks for reading! I’m so happy I’ve made it seven years so far!

Your purl side is showing

I lost it a little bit on Monday night when I realized that my biggest secret project (Ravelry members only link since the recipient isn’t a Raveler) looked too small. I swatched, and even blocked my swatch, but it was nagging at me. When I measured the center panel it was 9 inches, rather than the 11 the pattern said it should be. There’s no way that was going to block out that much wider without some serious yarn stretching. So…I ripped it all out. I had about 7 inches of the back done. It was painful. Nothing to do but cast on again with bigger needles. Sigh.

Toddler socks? Love them. I forget how quickly they go, and I didn’t have any stitch markers on hand at work on break when I got to the heels. Turns out that paperclips are great substitutes. Heel turns also happen in about 5 seconds on these. This is my pattern, using Madelinetosh sock in Turtle. I could never find the right adult-size stitch count socks to avoid massive pooling in this colorway, but they seem to be working well on the 1-3yr version here. I’m not sure whether I’ll use this yarn all the way up the cuff, or switch to some leftover Colinette Jitterbug in Velvet Oliveturtle

I just finished the chapter in Clara Parkes’ book The Yarn Whisperer, called “Public/Private.” I love all of her metaphors for how elements of knitting apply to other parts of life. Her writing is incredibly clever. If you’re considering some non-fiction and you’re a knitter, this book will probably be dear to your heart. I know this is a book I will re-read many times over the years. In this particular chapter, she connects “right side” and “wrong side” of knitting to our public versus private selves. She discusses how we all possibly show much more of our private selves through self-revelation online. One of my favorite lines from this chapter is, “It’s getting hard to tell if we’re viewing someone’s smooth stockinette facade, a genuinely vulnerable bumpy backside, or a new kind of reverse-stockinette-stitch fabric that’s a highly edited, fictionalized version of our true selves.” It’s something to ponder. In most of the blogs I read regularly, the content is mostly about a specific topic: knitting, or food, or sewing, etc. People don’t get hugely personal that often, but there are always touches about their lives. Most balance this very well.

Occasionally I come across posts or reveals in my Facebook feed (much more often there) that are so passive aggressive or painful, seemingly aimed at someone that should just know who they are. I never know exactly how to respond, but I usually just ignore things like this and move on. These things seem to qualify as the “genuinely vulnerable bumpy backside,” but the communication is so indirect I don’t know how it can be effective. Sometimes we come across as completely polished and perfect, showing our reverse-stockinette selves that are highly honed. I think I’m guilty of this at times, not showing knitting until I can get the perfect picture for the blog or having to re-take pics because I don’t like the way I look. I’ve also deleted some old old posts on this blog that I felt were too highly personal (my purl side was definitely showing) or could be frowned upon professionally. Don’t worry, they weren’t knitting-related anyway. In a time when potential employers demand Facebook passwords, what we put online about ourselves deserves scrutiny. It’s hard to find this balance. I have to think about being myself, while also considering how future employers or clients might view me if they stumble across my blog. Our notions of privacy shrink daily as we highly customize our lives, but I’ll never try to go off the grid like Ron Swanson.

Long post! Phew! Last day of my 30% off sock sale using the code SOCKTOBER. Happy Socktober!