Wednesday, April 1, 2015

April Tortoise

This morning there was one last (?) hurrah from Old Man Winter, a surprise snowfall. So of course I rushed out to pose the wee bunny I crocheted for Free Art Friday Montclair. I'll announce where it's placed on Friday. Erm, is it wrong for a church lady to hide a spring bunny on Good Friday?

Wee bunny in snow

Making the bunny from the excellent pattern and photo tutorial by Janette Williams was fun and satisfying. Participating in Free Art Friday has been less so. Maybe continuing to do so makes me as mad as a March hare or as gullible as an April Fool. Ah well, my wrists needed a break from fast and furious Mad sock knitting.

Speaking of Sock Madness, here's a Sunday Review progress shot, which is when it became apparent that I possibly might be able to finish the pair before the April 3 deadline but definitely would not make the cut to advance from Round 2 to Round 3.

Cable Madness singleton plus

The cut happened the very next day. It would seem other participants are far speedier than I and have far more time to devote to Mad knitting. Or I have too many distractions. For example, on Sunday, which was Palm Sunday, I was making palm crosses instead of knitting. Slacker that I am, I made mine after the worship service to give away. Whereas overly competitive crafty types industriously weave their palm crosses ::cough:: during the worship service and ::cough:: pridefully hand them out in vast numbers afterward. I'm not very attached to the process (or the competition) – I just make 'em and give 'em away – but a few people reminded me I made them palm crosses last year, which surprised and touched me.

Palm crosses

Usually I make the palm crosses on the left, but this year I also tried the palm crosses on the right, which are fussier to make and yield tidier results.

Then there was the matter of replacing the lawn mower blade. It really, really needed replacing.

Old and new lawn mower blades

So, there might be snow on the ground, I may be DNQ for Sock Madness Round 3, but at least I'm ready for lawn-mowing season (whenever that may be)!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Positive Reinforcement

Round 2, Week 1 of Sock Madness is winding down, the April 3 deadline looms, and I'm still working on the first leg of Cable Madness. Must knit faster! I need mug cake, stat!

Mug cake and wip

Happily for me, my local library came through with a copy of Mug Cakes by Leslie Bilderback. Mine is in a ramekin because that's how I roll.

That's better. knitknitknit

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sunday Post

Friday was the first day of spring. I was traveling, it snowed, the next Sock Madness pattern dropped, and not only was I without the necessary, but also I was too busy to do anything about it. Oh, woecakes! But the daffodils were brave and so was I.

First day of spring

The helpful staff at The Yarn Spot remedied one problem and by Sunday I was knitting away on Cable Madness by Karen Buhr using SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock in colorway Mulberry.

Cable Madness wip

The deadline for this round is April 3. See you on the other side, if not sooner.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Not Unlike Cowbell

The Sock Madness email that conveyed the happy news that I advance to Round 2 also contained a reminder to post more in-progress photos. To a process knitter that's not unlike telling the late Gene Frenkle, "More cowbell!" Can do, starting immediately, because once Round 1 was over, I frogged the to-me uncomfortable Alohomora star toes and knit wedge toes.

The process? First, I opened up the star toe and picked up stitches.

Undo star toe

Then I frogged the toe. I picked up stitches before frogging because the ribbing stitches of the foot would have splayed in opposite directions when frogged, which would have made picking up stitches after frogging a little fussy, particularly in this yarn, which tends to split and pill. Less fuss is a good thing.

Frogged toe

Next, I knit a wedge toe, which is more comfortable on my Frankenfeet than a star toe. Here's one star toe, one wedge toe.

One wedge toe, one star toe

Rinse, repeat. Here's two wedge toes.

Alohomora FO with wedge toes

I'm very happy with my pinky rainbowy Alohomora socks! It's just the palette I crave this time of year.

Alohomora modeled

After suitable jubilation, it occurs to me the Round 2 pattern is likely to drop when I'm on the road and unable to do much knitting or take many progress pix for that matter. Oh noes! Will I be able to advance? To be continued....

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Sock Foot 9 and 1/4

It's Pi Day! I didn't have time to bake a pie, so sent DH to The Pie Store, where the line was out the door and the bakers were baking furiously. He duly returned with a steak and ale pie for our supper.

Savory pie for Pi Day

Meanwhile, here's more photographic evidence my Round 1 Sock Madness socks, Alohomora by Malena Andersen, now a pair, were knit to specs: >9 inch (>22.8 cm) foot, five boxes on leg, six boxes on foot, star toe. I couldn't figure out how to keep the measuring tape flat whilst I took a picture, but when pulled flat, the sock foot measures 9 and 1/4 inches (23.5 cm). The flowerhead pins indicate the pattern repeats.

Alohomora FO per specs

The regulations observed, let me further note that pattern was delightful to knit, with just the right amount of texture to enhance solid, self-striping, or variegated yarns. I enjoyed the yarn, Pagewood Farms Yukon colorway Rainbow, more than expected. To me YUKON suggests a certain fiber content – this yarn is 70/20/10 Superwash Merino, Bamboo, and Nylon. Huh? I sometimes haven't liked the combination, which can be slick and limp, but this yarn and the pattern resulted in a nicely springy fabric both to the eye and to the hand.

Equally delightful, this year I had enough knitting time to finish two socks and even blog before the deadline, thus earning a place in the competition. That hasn't happened since March 2010. Yikes. Suffice to say lack of knitting time = a difficult slog that's not over yet. It's nice to have more knitting time.

Alas, a star toe is very uncomfortable on my Frankenfeet. My feet do not taper evenly to a sharp point like a pencil, they're shaped more like wedges. So I left long tails on the toes and plan to frog the toes and re-knit comfy wedge toes sometime soon.