April 27, 2013

A Crafty Binge or Two

This week began with quite a sewing binge, and that pretty much took up all of three days, though I have a few hours of attaching buttons still ahead of me.  I was inspired by this crafty chick at an arts festival who gave me the DIY run-down, to make the cutest double-sided headbands I have ever seen.  So, I jumped in with both feet and made 56.  That's right.  56.  The super-awesome thing about it is that I have almost no investment in this project because, as it turns out, that 30 gallon tub of fabric scraps that I have toted from house to house over the last 15 years on the premise that I know I will use these bits of fabric for something, finally came in handy.  I have about another 30 cut and waiting for a turn on the sewing machine.  What could I possibly do with 56 reversible headbands?  They will be fluttering in the breeze waiting to go home with long and short-haired damsels at my summer market booth.  It will be a rainbow of headbands!

Last week, I started a pair of plain Jane socks in a 2-ply hand paint (I hope it's superwash) merino that had been hibernating in my stash without its label.  Thursday morning I finished said socks.  They are going to be a favorite in my sock drawer, I can already tell.  And then I immediately cast on for another pair because, well, I can feel a sock binge coming on.

Intended as a palate cleanser, the hours of Zen plain sock knitting--all those repetetive knit stitches going around and around in circles affords a considerable amount of contemplation time--made me realize that the stumbling block that I have hit on my secret cable sweater--I've knit, twice now, the same 2 inches on that sweater in the last 8 days and that's all--is likely due to my overtly visual nature.  I think I can't decide on a transitional pattern for the bodice because I can't see how the sleeves will lay in proximity to it.  I think I am going to have to finish the sleeves to finish the body.  But maybe not.  I'm going to meditate on it by knitting socks a little longer.

And because, like apparently the entire rest of the knitting world at this time of the year, I'm suddenly re-energized to knit socks, I cast on for a new pair using more label-less stash yarn.  Although I did re-org. most of my stash yesterday by weight--and realized that I have definitely let the sock yarn stash dwindle!--I didn't find all of the missing labels.  I really need to get a better system.  I digress.  The new socks are a pattern from Socktopus called Shur'tugal by Alice Yu.  Although I do love a pair of plain stockinette socks on my feet, I also realize that plain socks are a struggle to finish after the dreaded gusset because by then I am just bored with plain knit stitches.  It was sheer will power that I didn't start this new pair before finishing the plain blue socks.  I'm not much on cabled socks--don't like that much bulk in my shoe--or very lacey socks--so much work to be hidden under a pant leg, you know what I'm saying?  I think this pattern will be a good one for keeping my attention post-gusset without being bulky and uncomfortable.

 The only issue with these so far is the RT/LT instructions, which I find totally foreign.  Unlike my usual method, which leaves the stitches twisted to the front in an even tension, the method in the directions involves twice the stitch manipulation and no chance of even stitches on the LT with the way that I knit. So, after finishing the first repeat, I've decided to scrap the instructions and just do it my way.  Not that this should surprise anyone ... I'll do a step-by-step for my method in a future post so you can twist the easy way, too.

And in case I find this one to be oh-so-boring, I treated myself and ordered a new sock book: Favorite Socks (25 Timeless Designs).  Like hanks and skeins of yarn, one can never have too many sock books.  Am I right?  So I will knit on these socks while I wait impatiently for the postman to bring me my book.  (I wish he'd hurry up!)

Until next time, love the yarn you're with!

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