Thursday, February 26, 2009

Twice as fast? Time will tell.

I just completed my first pair of socks from 2-at-a-Time Socks. Was it faster? I think so. Once I had figured out how to wrestle the 40" circular needle and keep the two balls of sock yarn untangled, I was able to get a knitting rhythm going that seemed to work. Finishing both socks at once is always good, too. While I know that knitting should be more about the process than about the finished product, I would really like to be able to crank out some pairs of socks. A goal for which knitting two at a time is a must. I felt like this was a more reliably portable method as well, since it was much easier to carry around one needle than 4--no worries about pulling out the knitting and have a needle fall out of the stitches, necessitating the picking up of tiny sock yarn stitches. Ugh.

After knitting 6 pairs of socks, I think I'm finally ready to deal with the subject of "negative ease". These socks are "The Classic Socks" from the book and following the pattern I came up with a larger sock than I would have preferred. No, I didn't swatch, so it probably serves me right, but these are just socks and I've done it before without a swatch. The discussion on Ravelry about sock patterns from this book pointed out that knitting with the magic loop method does give a different gauge than knitting with dpn's. Naturally, I didn't discover this until I was almost finished with the socks! While I am tempted to rip them out and start over with fewer stitches cast on, I don't think that's going to be possible. DaHubby strictly forbids frogging in his presence and now that they are off the needles, he won't let them out of his sight.
A disclaimer about the book, though. There are many and sundry errata which caused me to have to choose sides in a battle of loyalties. There are few people more loyal to the library and its collection than yours truly, such that I would never contemplate writing in a library book. And as they say---never say never. I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I returned my copy to circulation without saving some future fellow knitter from the anguish of trying to turn the heel on sock B before sock A.

Finally, a public THANK YOU to Kaffe Fassett for contributing his genius to Regia sock yarn. I only wish I'd bought more of it when I found it. Beautiful stuff!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Birthday, Renoir!

Happy Birthday to Pierre-Auguste Renoir, aka my favorite Impressionist painter, born on this day in 1841.