Monday, March 28, 2011

Sock it to Me

I have knit since the early 1960s. I have made many items. I have designed many items. I have knit socks. Lots of socks. Usually toe up using the same general formula and a heel I have memorized. Or at least I thought so.

I have now ripped out the current heel 3 times. There may be a 4th time, I don't know because I just finished ripping it out again and I'm about to knit it again. Why in the world am I having so much trouble? I think it's because this sock was feeling ignored and wanted some extra time with me. I started knitting it in December according to my Ravelry projects. Normally it takes less than a month to knit a pair of socks, depending on what other projects are going on. This sock got halfway up the foot and went into time out. I liked the yarn, the color, and I was using one of my standard "I know it feels good on my foot" patterns. So, why it ended up sitting around for over 2 months - I have no clue.

But last night I pulled it out to give it a little love. Got to the heel and checked my notes I have on my iTouch for the shaping numbers. I've written a little not to myself just to remind me of the numbers in case my brain is tired. I turned the heel and started the back side of the heel. Things were very much not even. I had way too many stitches on one side. Rip out #1.

I rechecked my note and I was doing things right.Knit again counting very careful - still wrong Rip out #2.

Go back to the note and turn on the computer to check my original pattern. HAH! I had typed 57 instead of 47 for one of the numbers. I corrected that and started knitting up again. I was whipping along the back of the heel - slip stitches flying by and I noticed when I was almost done I had 5 stitches left to pick up on one side and a lot more on the other side. Rip out #3.

While ripping out I went back to the original pattern to see if I wrote anything else wrong on the note. Yes and no. On my note for the heel turn I wrote to "P22, Kfp, K1, w&t. Work down to 10 sts" I forgot to mention it was working down in even numbers (p22 - k20 - p18........) I knit going down 1 st each row (p22 - k21 - p20....) So, I ended up with a lot more sts at the end of the turning and well - another rip out.

I just got back to the heel turn and I really hope I manage to get to puppy right this time. I getting sick of the heel and know if I put it in time out again I'll be finishing this sock in the next decade.

Wish me luck!

Update: 1 hour later - we have a turned heel and an even heel flap. Guess the sock decided it's had enough Jill time for tonight. Hope it's partner behaves better!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Day of Spring - really?

 According to the calendar it's the first day of spring so I decided to take a little drive and see what the day brought.

First, its drizzling. Guess that could be a spring thing. Up at the shopping area you can see the mountains of Minnesota off in the distance.

You say there aren't any mountains in Minnesota?! You're right. Those are the piles of gravel and rocks from the gravel pits. Whenever its foggy or misty I always thing the gravel piles look like mountains in the distance.
To be fair, they are quite tall piles but definitely not mountains.

Let's check out the lake at the end of my block.

Well, there's still ice on the lake and there's plenty of snow hanging around so that doesn't look too much like spring.

My neighborhood has one definite sign of spring - "Detour Ahead".

The highway on the other side of my block has just started a road construction. The bridge over some railroad tracks a few blocks away is being taken down and redone. That means the highway by my house is very quiet as no one can drive over the bridge and past me. It makes getting on the highway in the morning much easier because there's no rush hour traffic. The sign on the highway says till Spring 2012. It's gonna be a long year trying to get around without the bridge!

Since its drizzling out and still snow there's not much to do but stay inside and knit. So, Chief has decided to help find a new pattern for me to work on. He's so helpful!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Just peaking in to say hope you're having a great weekend.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fun new toy

When I get a new camera I have to head toward my favorite subject - The Boys. My poor, long suffering kitties put up with so much from me but with the new camera they don't notice as much. It's got 12x zoom. My old camera was 10x zoom but for some reason it didn't like to focus really tight in the close ups. This one has face recognition and stabilization and all sorts of other fun things so I can sit in a chair about 10 feet away from Chief and get "in his face".

 One problem I used to have is taking pictures with a bright light behind the subject. Not any more. This shot of Bert would have been a white background with a silhouette of him in the past. Now, look at that cute face. Why, you can even see the nap of the towel he's sleeping on!

What would a new camera be if it didn't take good pics of the knitting projects? This shot was taken with not the greatest lighting coming from the windows to the side of it. With my other camera this shot would have been kind of yellowish looking or I would have used a flash and it would be washed out. I'm still in need of playing with the different modes but this is already a huge improvement over what I used to get.

Oh - the project? It's the Ten Stitch Blanket. I'm using left over worsted weight to make it so, unless I decide this has to get done and I buy special yarn for it, this project will be around for a while waiting for bits of yarn to add to it.

Then there's black. Do you know how hard it is to take pictures of black yarn projects? You usually end up with a black blob and it's hard to see what the stitches are. These are a pair of black mittens in Woolease. I didn't bother with a pattern, just cast on what I thought would be a good size and started knitting. Of course, when I got to knitting the second mitten I had to rack my brain to remember how many stitches and rows I did. Heaven forbid I actually write something down so I can do it again!

While I was taking the pictures of Chief, Bert decided to come over and check things out. Naturally, Chief had to give Bert a quick cleaning before more pictures could be taken. This shot was in minimal light with the two of them moving around.

Nice and clear picture. I think I'll keep the camera!

A couple things:
1. I had to small up the pictures so the blog didn't take forever to load. They are 25% of the original size so I'm guessing will not be as incredibly clear and sharp and the originals. (the project pictures were reduced to 500 pixels for the width so I can post them on Ravelry.
2. Other than changing the size I didn't do any cropping, auto adjust or anything else for these pics. I wanted to let them be just as the camera took them.
3. So what camera am I babbling about? It's the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7. When the box came from FedEx today I couldn't believe how small it was. When I opened the box I was in shock how little the camera is. I can throw it in my pocket and not even notice it's there (well, hardly notice).

Tomorrow I'll play with the audio/video and see what it can do.

Friday, March 4, 2011

There WILL be pictures

What makes a good camera? You want pictures nice and clear, something easy to use, something easy to bring places so you actually use it and more. My current camera meets most of these but it's a larger camera. When I put it in my purse to bring places, I really know its there. I got tired of the size so I started hunting for a camera with the zoom and functions of my current one but a few other things. Smaller size, maybe video on it, higher resolution - you know - the good stuff. I found it. One problem, its not available locally because it's popular enough to be sold out.

However, tomorrow I will be waiting for the FedEx driver to "make my day". My new camera will be joining the household and I will be spending the day taking way too many pictures of Chief and Bert, my knitting, close ups of dirty kitty toys, dark corners of the house. You get the picture.I'm going to test the wide angle, the 12x optical zoom, the macro zoom, the stabilization. I'm going to be a silly, happy person and ....

Yes, there will be pictures for the blog. More than you probably want to see.

Oh, I'll also get some good pictures of a couple "secret" projects that I'm sending in to one of the magazines so sorry, you won't see those.