Monday, February 26, 2007

More socks!

Ribbed boot socks
Yarn: Just a smidge less than 80 g of Sirdar's Town & Country wool-rich 4-ply sock yarn from Springwools
Needles: 2.5 mm (cheap) Pony dpn's
Pattern: heel and toe cobbled together from various sources: Silver's sock class, Knitter's Review, Knitty, and

These are for the Limey, whose hairy legs are displayed here. I made the legs 20 cm long, to accommodate his wearing them with boots- they have to be quite high.

There are a couple of problems I can see: 1) That pointy big toe! I can see a hole starting there. Maybe asymmetric shaping of the toes for next time? But that would involve him having to remember which sock is left and which right; 2) I did the heel flap too short, so that it ends before it hits the back of his ankle. This makes the leg of the sock bunch a bit right there, which is annoying. Next time, longer heel flap.

I cast on for these right after I finished my own socks, and, to give myself an opportunity to decide what kind of sock-knitter I am, I did these cuff down, with a heel flap. I have to say- didn't really enjoy it much. People complain about the fiddliness of the wrap-and-turns of the short row heel, but I find this much more tedious and mistake-prone. There are a few other heel treatments out there. I will definitely try some more.

Next up, sock-wise, are some knee-high lace socks for my sister's birthday. I was thinking the Anna socks from Rowan, but then I found Sodera! They are toe-up and come with shaping for the ankle and calf, which Anna lacks, and I can see some issues cropping up there.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

We won! We won!

We've finally found a regular pub quiz in Dublin, at Russell's in Ranelagh. A good, brisk half-hour's walk from our place. Every Thursday, it's a house outing. We've been going for a good four or five weeks now, and the dude who runs the quiz knows us. He's very good, actually. Very funny and doesn't take the whole thing seriously at all. Plus, he's a fan of musicals.

The quiz is quite small, usually only maybe 8 or 10 groups. We've never won. We come 3rd or 4th, regularly, usually lagging the leader by 3 or 4 points. It's very annoying.

But last week! We actually won! Granted, it was a low, low turnout for the quiz, because something else was going on in town at the time, but, still, dammit, we won. We were so proud of ourselves. The winnings didn't offset the amount the guys spent on beer, but, still, a little is better than nothing at all.

Friday, February 23, 2007

It feels nice to frog

Yesterday, I turned this
into this
It's some tweedy red (that first picture makes it look very pink) I bought last year on a trip to Dingle. I'd knit it up originally into a raglan cardigan, with ribbing at the sides so that it would hug the body, instead of waist shaping. I'd finished knitting the whole thing, including the hood, when I realized I just didn't like it as much as I'd thought I would. It lay at the bottom of my pile of knitted things for a year. I took it out again recently to look at it, still didn't like it, so frogged it. I'm thinking it would rather be something like one of these:
These would be, from left to right, Knitscene's Central Park Hoodie, Knitty's Mariah, and Rowan's Celtic. I decided the tweedy Irishness of the yarn deserved something more special than a plain stockinette/ribbing. On the other hand, I don't want to go overboard into tourist Oirish-Aran madness. So, a few judiciously placed cables, I think, is the way to go. I don't know if I'm going to actually follow the pattern for one of these, but will certainly take my inspiration from them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

What I've been doing with my time

Since I'm now a lady of leisure, but with no money to spend, I can happily sit on the couch and fill my days with knitting.

Birthday Socks
Yarn: Lana Grossa Magico from This Is Knit (60 grams for both socks- so I have a just barely useless 40g left over)
Needles: 2 mm Inox dpns
Pattern: short row heel and toe shaping from Knitty's Universal Sock Pattern.

Notes: I got much tighter gauge than the yarn calls for: 36 sts/10 cm instead of 28 sts/10 cm, and the socks fit and feel great. I didn't use the number and measurement system from the pattern, just knit until they fit. There were many firsts for me here: my first socks, short rows, crochet provisional cast-on. By the way, the instructions on the pattern for the provisional cast-on made no sense, and after frogging twice, I finally went to another source for the instructions.

Because I'm a masochist, my two current projects are both black.

Ribbed socks for The Limey. He only wears black, so there was no choice, really. I'm doing this one cuff down, with a heel flap, just to see how it works, and to compare how I like doing it this way vs. short rows. So far, I'm liking the short row heel much, much better. The heel flap, picking up stitches, gusset decreasing, etc., etc., is just really fiddly. And I think the resulting heel is uglier than the neat, gently curved short-row heel. (By the way, picking up stitches on black knittting?! Ugh.)

A deep scooped-neck vest I designed. My drawing in the picture there shows waist shaping, but I decided not to do it. I kind of want to see how it looks and hangs with a straight waist. I'm knitting this in Cathay, which should drape nicely. I hope. I also haven't decided whether I'm going to put in the little cap sleeves. I've knitted it as a tank so far, so I could pick up stitches on the armholes and use short rows to shape the cap sleeves. Not sure yet whether I want to- without them, I'd be able to wear this as a vest with long-sleeved shirts. With little cap sleeves, would it look weird with long sleeves under it?

Monday, February 19, 2007


For those who haven't seen them, the pictures from my two-month vacation are here. The whole trip was a blast. We spent a week in Hong Kong, three weeks in Vietnam, two days in Singapore, three weeks in New Zealand, and a week at home in San Francisco. Short thoughts:

Hong Kong: Shoperific! Great cheap food, and they speak English, but I still got a good chance to actually use my Cantonese. Felt right at home. All the clothes sizes fit!

Vietnam: Crazy. Just...crazy. But eventually we figured out how to cross streets. Great cheap food, fun streets to walk around, too much stuff to see. Trip reports here and here.

Singapore: Once again, shoperific! The night safari was awesome, and the food was cheaper than I'd thought it would be. So, again, great cheap food. I really wish we'd spent more time seeking out the hawker stalls. Instead, we walked around, and just stopped for food randomly. Still good, though.

New Zealand: Gorgeous. Really friendly people. The food was good, but not quite so cheap. Drove a lot, but it was so lovely that driving basically felt like sight-seeing, so it was great.