action shots.

action-shot1

close-up

Brrr! It’s cold outside! (And inside, in my apartment, often mid-day, when the heat takes a break.) That means it is time to bundle up and take Boh out for a stroll. Nothing much to report over here — today was an uber-productive day. My long paper is half written, I have a better sense of where the paper is going, the boy came over and made dinner/impressed me with his crossword skillz, and I’m currently listening to Neil Young croon, “Baby mellow my miiiiind…” (Okay, so I’ve been listening to that song on repeat.) If I can read and summarize an additional book for class tomorrow, I get to do a bit of knitting before bed.

Hope you all had restful holidays — good luck getting back into your Monday routines tomorrow!

leftovers.

No, not that kind. (Though my mother did send me home with multiple Tupperware containers of turkey soup.) I’ve finished the hiking socks for the boy, and I can’t wait for him to wear them. I like to give gifts on non-holidays, and I may end up giving him his socks a bit early, particularly because of the very kind praise my family lavished upon them on Thanksgiving. Requests for socks were voiced, and my cousin pronounced that they looked like “real socks”. I did, however, come up with a way to slow myself down: I don’t quite know how they’ll wear, as they aren’t made of sock yarn, and I’ve never made anything out of Cascade 220 superwash. Thus, I present the first half of a pair:

dsc05304

Same, but different. These are for me. Test socks, if you will. I had 2 balls of yarn for the boy socks, and started each sock with a new ball, as I didn’t want to have to join new yarn at an inopportune moment. The leftovers looked like enough for one girl sock from each ball — and on this first sock, it was close: 44 stitches around (which is a tad loose on me, but 40 st with this yarn is too snug), stockinette, heel flap, and not quite a full toe — ran out of yarn at 10 st on each needle.

You’ll notice that I’m ridiculously verbose today — seems I can do that everywhere but in the paper I’m writing. Tomorrow’s a new day, and I’ll be aiming for uber-productivity in the land of schoolwork, punctuated with knitting breaks to work on sock #2.

___ tired.

sleep1

sleep21

We’re nearing the end of the semester, and we both feel this way. Luckily, we’ve had a little bit of this:

snow

crazy

It is time to really dig into the papers I have to write in order to finish out the semester, and I’m having a hard time locating my motivation to get into these particular projects. I realized this weekend that this is okay, and that the progress I’ve made this semester has required a lot of energy and effort, and it is beginning to catch up to me. I’m looking forward to the change of scenery my parents’ house will provide later on this week. I’ll certainly be bringing a pile o’ books with me, but I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving in several years, and I’m anticipating a whole lot of laughter and some personal battery recharging. I’ll also be bringing some knitting…

socks-near-door

But probably not these! They just need to be kitchenered. I deceived the boy, and asked him to try them on because it is a new pattern and I wanted to be sure that they’d fit my father — the boy and my dad have similarly sized feet. Sock #1 fit perfectly! I am seriously considering gifting these now, just because.

Eek: two full days’ worth of work between me and turkey preparation. Must get back to it!

half a pair…

boy-sock-1

All I can say is worsted weight. It makes socks fly! (Also, knitting is often more fun than reading for class.) I did some bargaining with myself when I got home from class this afternoon: if I let myself finish the first sock, I need to read 100 pages of the next book before bed. Time to go hold up my end of the deal!

spooky forests and superwash socks.

spooky-forest

Friday afternoon, we went frolicking slightly further afield. We hopped in the car and headed south to a nearby state forest to stretch our muscles and allow our minds to unwind a bit from a busy week. If you’ve been reading, you know I’ve been looking for good boy sock patterns, and the hang-up I’ve been facing has to do with how “fancy” sock patterns and sock yarn can be. I’ve settled on some socks made out of good, old-fashioned Cascade 220 superwash, as the feet they are intended for spend most of their time in hiking boots, romping through the woods.

socks-for-m

Here’s what I’ve got so far — I’m using size 5 needles, and keeping my fingers crossed that the fabric is dense enough to support the amount of use I hope these get. Should I be thinking about carrying nylon thread along with the yarn for the heel? I should be reading right now, but I’d so much rather be working on these socks — or better still, off in the woods with boy and dog.

Here’s a picture of my reading companion. If only he’d start pulling his weight around here…

who-me

Back to the books. Have a great Sunday!

two coffee mugs, a yardstick and a soup bowl…

…walk into a bar. Nevermind. Instead, they enable this rooster to attempt to determine (in an incredibly unscientific manner, mind you) if she has divided a skein of sock yarn into balls of roughly equal weight:

homemade-scale1

This was necessary because yesterday I was determined to start a toe-up sock, encouraged by this tutorial over at knittingbybicycle. If one of the benefits of toe-up socks is being able to use up all of your yarn, I reasoned, I need to divide my yarn so that I can take full advantage of this approach to sock knitting. First I wound the yarn, and then I wound a ball from the ball I created, thinking I’d just stop when they looked about even. But even though they looked even, one of them seemed a bit tighter, and therefore, heavier. But I wasn’t sure: hence, the contraption pictured above.

toe-up-tosh-11

Here’s what I’ve got so far. I’m following the tutorial for the 64 st sock, which might be a tad roomy for me with these needles (US size 2, 3 mm) and this yarn (Madelinetosh superwash merino in colorway pool), but I figure I’ll rib the whole leg if that seems to be the case. It’s a bit too early to tell. Here’s another picture of the sock:

toe-up-tosh-21

I absolutely love the striping, and the yarn itself is wonderful to work with — it is slightly thicker than the other sock yarns I’ve used, and I’m finding that these are moving along quite quickly.

Also, I’ve added a bit to my sock yarn stash. I couldn’t resist the gorgeous pictures of Malabrigo sock yarn over at The Loopy Ewe. This came in the mail on Monday:

malabrigo-sock1

From left to right: Malabrigo sock in Ochre, Boticelli Red and Alcaucil, and Cherry Tree Hill sock in Slate. This yarn is gorgeous. I was initially thinking that the darker shades would be good for boy socks, and I may make a dressier pair for my dad out of one of these skeins. I’ve ordered a few more options from Webs, and I’ll share those when they arrive. The particular boy I have in mind lives mostly in hiking boots, so something thicker (but still superwash) seems like a better fit.

Time for another cup of coffee and a bit of sock knitting before I tackle this morning’s pile o’ reading. The sun is shining here. Have a great Wednesday!

FO: june bug socks

june-bugs-fo

Hooray! I love these socks. Not quite done in time to be appropriately celebrated as part of socktoberfest, but still the fastest full-size socks to come off of my needles to date. To review (raveled here): the yarn is Yarn Pirate BFL sock in colorway June Bug. The pattern is one of the basic Ann Budd patterns from Getting Started Knitting Socks – 8 st/inch, 72 stitches CO. I used 2.5 mm needles. These are a tad big around the ankles, but the foot and heel fit well, and the yarn feels like a dream on my feet. In fact, I may need to acquire some hip clog-like shoes in order to begin showing off handknit socks. Always on the incentive program, perhaps I’ll do some internet window shopping after I read another 100 pages.

Also, it is time to decide on patterns and yarns for the next pair(s) — anybody have favorite sock patterns for boys to recommend?

Happy Monday!