Monday, February 16, 2009

(or, alternately titled) socks+bread=contented

Although it did not include picking up the Slouchy Cardigan, this week was about checking off the to-do list. The mundane -- wiping down the interior of the fridge, dusting blinds, reconciling calendars -- was not put-off, rather done with a bit of self-imposed bribing: if a is done, I may go knit the cuff; if b is done, I can go mix the dough. Two projects consumed me this week...

The first was a special pair of socks. I won't say much about them (yet), but will give you a glimpse:

The yarn is The Plucky Knitter's fabulous Merino Cashmere Nylon base, and the color is much more of a rich brown in person. This pattern is simple, and is exactly what I'm after. I did follow the pattern and knit the leg 8" long, and then completed the heel flap, the gusset, and a few instep rounds before frogging back. Worried I would run out of yarn, I ripped the leg to 6 3/4". Should be good to go now.

The second obsession was the Master Recipe from the book everyone else has already blogged about. Unfortunately, the book had only moved from the county library shelf to my tiny kitchen shelf until this week when I finally purchased a food-grade container for the dough. Today was finally baking day, and I have to say, I am so pleased with the results. pleased, the kids and I ate the first loaf for lunch and I promptly reached in to the fridge for another portion to bake off. So, so good! And honestly, the crust was so perfect, it did "sing" as it hit the cool kitchen air, just like the book said it would. The book also promised that there would be quite an oven spring, where the bread would rise considerably during baking, and the book did not lie. One lesson learned: I definitely need a pizza peel; a wooden cutting board does not substitute as well as I thought it would.

One snoozing project I did revisit this week was Sweetpea. I am in love with this pattern, especially paired with The Plucky Knitter yarn in "Audrey's Socks". The below photo was taken last summer, during my first attempt:

However, this pattern kicks my ass. Pardon my french. Last summer, I had started these on a size 1 needle, and of course the result was a sock that would fit one of my children. (I knit tightly.) After ripping, I began again on size 2's. Again, too tight. Then I put it aside. Fast forward to this week: Cast on with size 3. Perfect. Knit lovely flouncy cuff. Check. Begin first pattern repeat, make mistake, rip out. Begin first pattern repeat, make mistake, rip out. Both times, I had screwed up somewhere along the line and the yarn over zigzag gave the mistake away. I must have forgotten a make one, but for the life of me, I could not see it in the stitches. Again, this project is in a time out. Does this ever happen to you? Has there been a pattern that just gets under your skin?

Here's to more conquering of the exciting and the not-so-exciting in the coming week.

Sunday, February 8, 2009


I am the type of knitter who doesn't mind having multiple WIP's going: a mindless project for TV viewing, a portable project for school-pickup-line knitting, a more involved project (cables, lace, or some other pattern) for quiet times when the kids are busy. While the logic in this is obvious to me, even as I try to talk myself out of it, I realized a while ago that I really should be more monogamous with my knitting. I have two projects that just sit in dark corners of my home, hibernating, making me feel a little guilty for running around with all of those socks and cowls and not thinking twice before doing so.

That Slouchy Cardigan I began last summer is not quite half-way done. I have the back panel knit, and one front panel finished. I love the (soon to be discontinued) alpaca-silk blend yarn that I'm using -- it really does feel heavenly in my hands -- and I do love the image of myself curled up in this particular knit; however, it is the resounding complaint of how poorly this pattern is written that kills my want. Apparently, the sleeve caps and armholes are very cumbersome to piece together in the end and though I had made note of the modifications, those notes did not find their way into the knit process. This project might soon be frogged, or at least tinked back to the beginning of all armholes, and put on top of the WIP pile once my sister's socks are done. If I can find something else to make with all of this yarn, maybe I'll do that, instead. Minimalist Cardigan, anyone?

Also socked away in a drawer is my paneled afghan. It's sort of an homage to this cabled afghan, but I'm not necessarily following the particulars, just finding cable patterns and knitting them into squares. This has been left at its current state for well over a year... It's not a project I plan to rip out, though. I just have to make it more of a priority.

Monogamy does have its rewards. I mentioned the beret that was blocking in my last post, and here it is, done and modeled:

It really is fun to wear, but I'm always at a loss with what to do with my hair when I have it on. The beret is rather different than the other utilitarian hats I've knit. As someone who runs around town in jeans and a sweatshirt, this new accessory pushes me a little out of my comfort zone. I'll have to work on that one.