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Posts Tagged ‘Andromeda’

Socks are not complicated

At least that is what I think. (Apparently blog post writing is complicated. I wrote this back in March! March 17th to be exact. And somehow didn’t post it. So, here it is, a bit delayed.) Socks are not terribly complicated, no more so then a sweater or any other item that has in- and decreases. However, if you do not do due process, they may well come out different then you expect. Case in point:

This is a lovely pattern, called Andromeda. They were published in the spring of 2009 in Knotions Magazine, and I fell in love with them, enough so that I started them in early march 2009. That is right, 2 years ago. Yes, they have been languishing a bit. Not because I don’t like that pattern, because I do. Simply because I am a very polygamous knitter. There were other projects that caught my attention. Not even because I liked them better, just because they were new…. I know, shame on me. Or maybe not, I don’t know to get things finished, I knit because I like to knit. However, a week ago, this project almost had me to tears. Almost, because I refuse to let any project bring me to tears. There are better things to mourn. But, a couple of weeks ago, I had pulled this sock out, and decided it was time to spend some more time with it. I discovered that I, I hope, had put some sharp implement too close to the skein, some lovely, soft Knit Picks Stroll yarn in the color “Dusk”. There was one spot on it where several threads were either severed, or mostly severed. Quite annoying, but I hope that it was not bugs. I have not seen any additional damage in anything, and no debris either. So I have my hoped up, and have been knitting several pieces into my sock. Most of the severed pieces are long enough that I can use them and not feel completely desperate. However, sometime in the last two weeks, I took a week long trip to Atlanta, GA. This is about a 12 or so hour drive, and I took these socks along, because the pattern fits in one clear page protector, and the chart is small, unlike the pattern for Casablanca, which spreads over 4 pages. At least I need 4 pages to do one needle. But I digress.
I had almost finished the leg portion of the sock, and was hoping that despite all the planned commotion, I would be able to mostly finish this sock. Then I had the bright idea to try it on… These socks are for me after all, if I don’t fit them, they won’t be any good. I should also tell you that I did NOT do a proper gauge swatch when I started. The top border/cuff did not even make it too my heel, let alone go over it. So I decided to rip the whole thing, and since I had very few options, I decided for the heck of it to do a gauge swatch. As it turns out, I had and extra stitch over 2 inches. My needle was too small. No wonder that the sock didn’t fit me. Unfortunately I did not have any other needles with me, so I ended up going to Joann’s Fabric, in Atlanta, and bought some size 2’s. Thankfully they had them. It is not always easy to find needles that small, and without internet access I was unable to locate a true yarn store. I know, I have at least one set at home, but I wasn’t going to be home for quite some days… What was a knitter to do? I do have a wonderful and understanding husband, who didn’t even blink when I told him I wanted to get some more needles. So I did a gauge swatch with those, and finally got gauge. Then I was stuck, because I used a provisional cast on, using a circular needle instead of a piece of waste yarn, and needless to say, I didn’t bring one. I also didn’t bring a crochet hook to add the beads in just after the cuff.
When I got home that was relatively easily remedied, and after another week, I have gotten this far:

I think and hope that I have almost gotten past the section where all the breaks are, and can finally knit a couple of rows without re-attaching new yarn pieces. But I still love the pattern, despite making the wrong size, not having bigger needles, having to do 2 gauge swatches, and last but not least using yarn that somehow went to pieces.

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Many knitters knit only at home. But there is a definite and I think growing group of knitters who also like to bring a project along, to knit on when they wait at the doctor’s office, drinking coffee with a friend, traveling (provided you are not the one doing the driving), or even standing in line at the grocery store. But, what makes a good travel project?

Well, first of all it has to be relatively small. Of course there are some exceptions, some of you have seen me traveling quite happily with my Oregon project. And in the end it was definitely not small.

An second requirement is that it does not require lots of different tools. If all you need is yarn, needles, and a 1 page pattern, then that makes it in my opinion a good travel project. Which is why a lot of knitters use a sock or a dishcloth as a travel project. But it is also why I didn’t mind taking Oregon along, because despite it’s size, it was just needles, yarn and a 1 page pattern, and one that was pretty easy to stay on track on. I am also pretty flexible, because I have also done car travel with a lace shawl that needed beads. That is not for everyone, as the risk of spilling your beads is relatively big, depending on your “beading system”.

As I mentioned before, I pulled out a couple of projects from the UFO stack, one being the Andromeda socks, which is a great travel project. Except when you go traveling and discover you did not choose the right needle size. But that is the bane of any travel project.
But I also pulled out Casablanca. This is definitely NOT a travel project. This is the average set-up when I work on it:

Yes, that is a wine glass, though that is not always part of my setup. But the magnetic board with 4 letter-size pages, the crochet hook with cork on it, the tube of beads, a small ziplock container to keep a few beads at a time in, the cone of yarn, and of course the project on the needles, are a requirement for almost every other row I do. The return rows or even rows don’t need all the tools, as they are pretty much border stitches in garter and purl stitches for the rest. I think you can understand though, why this is not a very good travel project? 😀

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