Monday, September 15, 2008

Jay-Walking Ankle-Biters

I finished Rhiannon's socks last week. This may be the fastest I've ever knit a complete pair of socks. I began them late in the evening on Aug 24 (right after I finished the last of my Ravelympic socks) and cast them off on Sept 10. That's right about 2 and 1/2 weeks.

Although, before I get too excited I should probably point out how short the things are. She really did want ankle socks, and ankle socks is what she got.

As I noted on my Ravelry Project page, I made the following mods:

Cuff: Since she wanted anklets, the cuff is very short (two full repeats of the stripe sequence).

Heel: I decided that I wanted a “bull’s-eye” heel effect, so I experimented with Charlene Schurch’s forethought heel. I knit the first sock that way, and am knitting the second with an afterthought heel (as it seems less fiddly). Either way, the striping is preserved, and it looks pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

Toe: In order to decrease the instep stitches to the same number as the stitches on the bottom of the foot, I continued the DD from the jaywalker pattern. The first two rounds went like this:

Round 1:

Top of Foot: K1, SSK, K5, DD, K16, DD, K5, K2tog, K1
Bottom of Foot: K all.

Round 2: Knit All

This puts the same number of stitches on both the top and the bottom after one row.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Shifty Eyes

I may have ahem cast on another sock.

But only a little.

I'm trying Cookie A's Baudelaire from Knitty's Summer '06 issue.

Needles: Harmony 3.0 mm (US 2)
Yarn: Knitpicks Essential Kettle-dyed Auburn

But, fear me not! I am still working on Rhi's Jaywalking Ankle-biters. I'm a solid inch into the second sock already.

P.S. Stay Tuned for Nancy Bush's Gentleman's Fancy Sock in Plymouth Happy Feet. But I haven't cast them on.... Yet.

Monday, September 01, 2008

She's a Nightmare Hippy Girl

Those of you who know me well should be familiar with the blasé and carefree way that I add new projects to my ever-expanding pile of Works-in-Progress. Many of you are also aware of the tragic and seemingly inevitable slide of these new projects into obscurity and UFO status. If Stephanie is a Yarn Harlot, people then I am a Yarn ... well, my mother wouldn't have wanted me to use that word.

It was this lamentable characteristic of mine that led me to last month's frenzy of finishitude. Sane people do not try to finish five pairs of socks in two weeks. Moreover, project-monogamous people don't have five pairs of socks on the needles at once. (I am well, well aware that my little "problem" is not whatchacall unique. This does offer me some comfort.)

All of this is prologue to a confession. Once I completed my self-imposed sock adventure, did I congratulate myself on a pile of UFOs well conquered and carry the fight back to my knitting basket? My spirit renewed, did I pick up either of the two shawls or the fair-isle cardigan that I began earlier this summer? Or, brave warrior I, did I delve deep into the strata of the geologically improbable mountain composed only of discarded and lonely projects?

Not as such. No.

I immediately cast on a new sock.

You know.

Like you do.

Allow me to introduce you to a modified Jaywalker. These are for my daughter Rhiannon. She specifically requested anklets, so they are a mite shorter than I normally make my socks. The only major mod I made (say that three times fast) was to do a forethought heel, alá Charlene Schurch to preserve the integrity of the stripe. (Yes, I did just say "preserve the integrity of the stripe." Deal.) I finished the first sock in record time, considering that I wasn't power-knitting like I had been for the Ravelympics. The second is cast-on in an attempt to thwart second sock syndrome.

And, since a mere and lowly sock is hardly enough to fill the void left by all of those UFOs suddenly gone silent, I also cast on another cardigan. Here's the Hippy-Chic from the 2002 Knit It! magazine. As far as I can tell, this magazine no longer exists and all records have been wiped from the face of the Internet. Basically, it's a shaped cardigan with seed stitch detail -- cute and simple. I'm using Knitpick's Shamrock in Dougherty.

So far, we are pleased.