Unbelievable

So, when I cast on my Rick socks, I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to see that spiraling rib start to take shape. I knit the cuff, and then jumped right into the leg, thinking how cool it was that a few ssk’s and yarn overs were all it took to make that really cool look. But, after knitting about two inches, I stopped. This didn’t look like the picture in the book.

My spiraling rib was inverted. Huh. That’s weird.

See? Here it is, inside out.

So, I went on Ravelry (what did knitters do before Ravelry?) and perused the 643 other pairs of Rick socks that have been made. No one else seemed to have the same trouble. Sock after beautiful, spiraling sock met my search for help.

Eratta. That had to be it. But the only eratta for this pattern didn’t start ’till the gusset.

So, I enlisted the help of the “Cookie A Socks Fan Club” on Ravelry, posting a desperate plea for someone to tell me where I was going wrong. And waited. Nothing.

Just about the time I started to consider frogging the whole thing and giving myself up for a huge idiot who couldn’t even decipher a knitting chart, I had a thought.

Maybe I am not doing the ssk right.

This is a scary thought. Do you know how many times I have executed the simple ssk stitch? How many lace charts I have followed? How many sweaters I have shaped? How many stitch patterns I have knit?

But it was my final hope. So, I headed over to Youtube (what did knitters do before Youtube?) and looked up a video on “how to ssk”.

And, what do you know? I have been doing it wrong all this time.

ALL. THIS. TIME.

Oh, the joys of being a self taught knitter.

I have been ssk-ing – slip, slip, pass the stitches back to left needle, knit – which produces a twisted stitch. For some reason, it has never mattered and I have never noticed till now.

The temptation to rip out everything that I have ever knitted and do it right has passed (it was brief). I am okay now.

But, isn’t that unbelievable?

A Cute Miscalculation

Remember my little sewing extravaganza in which I churned out a bunch of boxy bags?

Well, I want to make some matching notions pouches for them.

Here is my first try.

Apparently, I shouldn’t have gone so small.

Here it is compared to the size the pattern makes.

I did much better when I sized them up. But, I have lots more zippers. So I guess I can try again.

And, the kids love it. Everyone is begging for their own.

Too bad – I am busy knitting socks…. (maybe next week)

How To Avoid SSS in Three Easy Steps

It is an insidious affliction affecting many sock knitters. I have fallen prey to it myself on occassion. Second Sock Syndrome. A cousin of Second Sleeve Syndrome, it can be almost paralizing at times and many a lonely sock or one armed sweater has fallen into the abyss of unfinished and (mostly) forgotten knits. When your motto is “Never knit the same thing twice”, your sock knitting suffers. What is the second sock but a monotonous repeat of the last knit that you finished?

How does one avoid such disaster? I have three simple strategies.

The first is this. When it is at all possible, knit both at the same time:

Kai-Mei in Dream in Color Smooshy Buttercup

There is also the option of knitting socks that mirror each other. These are knitted one at a time, but one doesn’t shirk at knitting the second sock because it promises to be different from the first.

Rick in Paton’s Kroy FX Copper Colors

This second strategy should work, but, just in case, it should always be employed along with the third strategy and that is – Cast on second sock immediately after first sock is complete.

I hope this doesn’t mean that I am doomed….

Testing 123

These last two weeks I have delved into a new outlet for my knitting – test knitting patterns for designers on Ravelry.

It has been way fun!

I started with a little baby thing, that I can’t show you because I am giving it as a gift. But, if you are not my knitting buddy who is expecting a baby in June, you can click here to see it in my Rav notebook.

The designer was so happy with it that she invited me to test knit another pattern for her right after I finished. I can show you that one. It is called Marguerite.

I knit it in Scarlet Fleece Silk and Ivory Pink Chocolate. (The name of this yarn has changed to Ewe Silky Thing)

It fits the Munchkin perfectly.

Test knitting is really fun. I really enjoyed the back and forth with the designer and it was exciting to be knitting something that no one else has seen, yet.

It was also a nice challenge to determine what problems were me and what were errors in the pattern.

This was supposed to be the 12 month size, but the yarn rebelled when it hit the water and it grew a bit.

And, my little model did so good at our impromptu photo shoot.

A satisfying knit with a beautiful result.

Test knitting. It’s great fun.

You Know You Knit Too Much When…

… your new sock blockers come in the mail, and your kids not only know what they are, but your three year old is so excited for you, saying, “Now you can take better pictures of your socks, Mama!”

These kids are growing up thinking that it is perfectly normal to take pictures of yarn. They know what a “swift” is. They know how to operate a ball winder. And, they know the difference between “good yarn” and “bad yarn” – as well as the definition of a yarn snob.

All of these things are commonplace in our house.

They also think that sock blockers make great guns.

You can’t win ’em all.

Oh, Baby (knitting)

I finished a few really cute baby things recently, but as they were gifts for people who read this blog, I had to wait to show the rest of you what I have been up to. My sister’s baby shower was Saturday, and this is what I made for her.

As she wasn’t going to find out her baby’s gender, I made this little neutral sweater:

Geordie Stripe Yoke Jacket by Louisa Harding in Dream in Color Classy Dusky Aurora

Then, to make this more feminine if she has a girl, I knit this:

Cora Cloche by Kate McDaniel in same yarn.

Or, if out comes another little nephew for me, this hat:

Baby Newsie by Bekkah Knits in same yarn.

At the shower, my dear sis had a surprise announcement – she found out that she is cooking a little boy!

Perfect.

Three things about this knitting:

1. Recognize that yarn? I had three balls leftover after knitting this:

it is fabulous, and washable and the colors are so gorgeous. I was so glad to find a good use for my extras – and I still have almost a whole ball left!

2. The Newsie Hat was a really interesting knit. If you have a little boy to knit for and you enjoy knits that keep you guessing, this is a good one to try! I don’t know how a person sits down and figures out something as complicated as that. And, it is way cute.

3. The sweater pattern, on the other hand, was a pain in the bootie, and I won’t ever knit it again. Too fiddly, too many things I didn’t want to do, too much sewing (even after I converted as much of it as I could to knit in the round). But, she likes it and that is all that matters. Too bad I have to wait till next winter to see how it looks on the baby!

And, lastly, a baby shower for a friend of mine two Saturdays ago (that I missed because I was sick…) had me knitting a diaper cover:

In case you missed it – this is the cute part:

This is the Picky Pants pattern that I always follow (loosely), and I used some wool that looks like Wool of the Andes, but I can’t remember exactly.  And, she loves it. So do I. It was hard to give away. 🙂

So that catches you up on my baby knitting. None for my baby, but I still have till June. (I keep saying that – but oh, my! I will be EIGHT MONTHS this week!)