Friday, June 17, 2011

Resurfacing yet again...

I appear to be somewhat neglectful of this blog, but I should remedy this. Since I last posted, I've been mostly knitting socks. Lots of them. Mostly they've been successful, with three quite spectacular failures (two pairs utterly, utterly too small for their recipient - serves me right for knitting to my own size and then just trying to add 2cm - and one nearly-finished pair misplaced on a train or something).

Through all these socks, I've discovered various things:

  • I knit *tightly*. My gauge with regular German sock yarn (the 75/25 420m/100g kind) is easily something like 10-11 spi, and, actually, I like it that way. Looser gauge doesn't feel quite right to me. Somewhat frustratingly, though, my tight gauge means more yarn consumption, so I'm frequently stuck with annoying amounts of remnant at the end of a 100g skein - not quite enough for a full second pair, sometimes not even enough for some fingerless gloves (in the case of larger sizes).
  • I have short, wide feet (which I knew), and a high instep (which I didn't). This leads to a pronounced preference for top-down socks with heel flaps, though I'll soon try out some instructions for toe-up socks with heel flaps, in the case of limited amounts of yarn. What I've found unfortunately *doesn't* really work for me is, despite its genius, the Fleegle Heel. It seems to eat a lot of yarn, and still makes a heel that's slightly too tight for my instep, alas.
  • Further to the subject of weirdly-shaped feet, I appear to be particularly evil to the backs of heels, so I am now very partial to Eye-of-Partridge heels. The extra reinforcement and cushioning are both very helpful, and keep my socks from wearing through stupidly quickly.

Recently, I attempted something vaguely approaching project-monogamy, when I hoped to get a scarf done in a particular timeframe for a friend of mine. That didn't *quite* work (I've finally been to the post office, though, and sent it off), but I was somewhat surprised by how quickly I managed to make progress by just picking up the same project every time rather than alternating. (However, where would be the fun in doing that on a permanent basis?)

In another departure from the usual, I've started my first shawl, a Multnomah in some very brightly-coloured and high-contrast merino from Drachenwolle. I've had the yarn for over a year, and have tried several different patterns with it, and have been harbouring a fair bit of yarn guilt over it, because I've just not found the right thing for it. Socks are not the right thing for this yarn, at least not as knitted by me, so I hope this shawl is the right thing.

Lastly, I received something lovely in the post today: some beautiful merino/silk, dyed by the marvellous Wollzupfer and handspun by someone we all know and love, who doesn't need to be namechecked here, but whom I think most readers will pretty much recognise instantly :-)

I think that's it for now. Pictures to follow of various finished objects, in the fullness of time.