July 9, 2011

Sock Summit Entry #2: Knitting, Gardening and Two Year Olds

"Where have you been???? Is this going to be one of those deals where I find a blog I like and then the blogger just quits?"

You may have asked yourself this question. Or not. Perhaps you are leaning more toward the "What? You haven't had an entry for a while? Huh. I didn't notice..." camp.

Either way, here I am. On with it!! We have Sock Summit to get ready for!!!

It is true that I have a very busy life, and have had my fair share of summer distractions. I have been in my garden and taking every opportunity to photograph my 2-year-old daughter in every possible outdoor, rare and sunny setting, but more true than these things is this: I have a challenge with procrastination. You know, the little voice in your head that says, it's only been a day. A week... nine years since you last attended to your responsibilities. Things will take care of themselves. Of course, if you treated your pets this way, they wouldn't last long. I have had many a dead fish in my life.

My salvation, this time, came in the form of a new, outdoor knitting area on my covered front porch. Spurred by comfort and middle age, my husband and I purchased a loveseat and rocking chair--replete with sturdy cushions for aging spines--for the new living space.

In my new, eastern-facing knitting outdoor paradise, I can enjoy many of my roses and the lovely Oregon summer breezes. It has been more alluring than any cake claiming to be "better than sex," or twentysomething vampire actor could ever aspire to be.

In short, I think I have found what heaven must be like.

And, truth be told, since then I have been knitting like a fiend. With the speed of a bride chasing her newly altered wedding dress that has been snatched right out her hands by the wind in the strip mall parking lot, blowing rapidly away from her and ever near to certain oil stain from that leaky car that just left a fresh puddle nearby.  Knitting with the motivation of a man in some weird, Creep Show scenario who, if he kept on knitting, would never ever have to ask for directions again. Like...well, you get the point. I have been productive in spite of myself.

I completed two sock patterns:

The above pattern is "Autumn in Oregon," by Chrissy Gardener (available on Ravelry in downloads). You saw this one in progress previously.

This pattern is fun to knit--and believe me, it can be hard to keep my attention. The pattern changes are delightful and the whimsical cuff is really neat-o, too. It does requre a little sewing and must be knitted separately, then attached to the top of the body of the sock before proceeding onward and downward.

But wait! The other version of this sock, "Spring in Oregon," the toe-up counterpart to the Autumn sock, is even better.

The cuff is cleverly designed to be attached at the end, after completing the rest of the sock. It is attached right away at the beginning to the body by a SSK, then knitting away from the body and back toward it, each time repeating the SSK.

Oooohs and aaaahhhs...

I love it and here it is:

And the back shot, which is very important. I will tell you why momentarily:

Notice the really cool teardrop sort of pattern up the back here?

Well, on the first set of socks, the Autumn version, I had a brain-chart-fart and did not follow the chart correctly, resulting in much fewer teardrops. (see prev post)

It worked out ok, but was annoying to me that something so simple was missed. I suppose I have made them my own!

I still plan to make a few more types of whole socks, and some separate heels I have not tried, along with my homework for the summit design class: multiple swatches of intended patterns.

I have purchased a couple more stitchinonaries and really scoured them for patterns. I marked several in each book, then realized something. The swatches cannot be knitted like a square. For accuracy, they surely must be knitted in the round.

So....I am working on that now, using Betsy McCarthy's method for this. I also realized that many stitchionaries do not provide charts, which make this task easier--e.g., the symbols tell you what to do either purl-side or knit-side. Wrong side or right side.

So, I have decided to create my own charts when necessary for ease of understanding while making said swatches so as to (hopefully) avoid any more chart-farts, or pattern faux pas, as the case may be.

I do have a little surprise for you in the way of my own attempt at a design, just for the Sock Summit. I hope to make it avaible here soon (and on Ravelry) just as soon as I get the pattern written. I know I am a novice, but this is one way I learn.

Here is a sneak peek:

"The Fountains of Portland"
Happy Knitting!!

Much more blogging to come!!

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