Sunday, October 21, 2007

A letter to a sock.

Dear Opal "Magic" Sock,

Why are you so fugly? I'm putting a lot of tender loving care into knitting you, and you repay me by turning into this horrible thing. You look like a Venus Fly Trap ate a whole mess of bees and then regurgitated them onto my needles.

You look slightly cuter in this listing, but the picture is very small. How was I supposed to know what you look like close up? You're like those people on Yahoo! Personals who post pictures of themselves so tiny that no one can tell what they really look like. Not that I've ever used Yahoo! Personals. But I feel you were a little deceptive. You led me to believe you were cute (or at least presentable) when in reality you are barfed-up bees.

Perhaps I shouldn't be so shallow. Maybe all that matters is that you'll keep my feet warm this winter. Goodness knows I dated a man or two for lesser reasons. I guess I'll give you a second chance. If I still find you unappealing, I can always wear you in the dark.

Yours in mingled anticipation and disappointment,

A knitter.

Monday, October 15, 2007


I had a huge "DUH!" moment today.

I like making my socks with "Star Toes" because you finish it off (cuff down) with running the yarn through the last six to eight stitches and there's no grafting. But I've been lamenting the fact that the toes of both finished socks have visible lines of decreases going in the same direction.

Just as an example (with an imaginary 28-stitch sock), here's how I've been doing my decreases:

Rnd 1: *K5, k2tog, rep from *. 24 sts rem.
Rnd 2: Knit plain
Rnd 3: *K4, k2tog, rep from *. 20 sts rem.
Rnd 4: rep rnd 2.

And so on.

Today it dawned on me that if I reverse the order of knits and decreases, I'd have a line that went the other way. For example:

Rnd 1: *K2tog, K5, rep from *. 24 sts rem.
Rnd 2: Knit plain
Rnd 3: *K2tog, K4 rep from *. 20 sts rem.
Rnd 4: rep rnd 2.

I'm sure every other knitter on the planet already knew this, but for me it was quite an epiphany. I'm so excited that I decided to start working on the tweedy green socks again.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


My Crazy Color socks are done!

Unfortunately, Blogspot is refusing to put up the pictures I just took, so that will come later. For now, I'm basking in the afterglow of completing a project.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


After reading a post about ecological recycling on the Knit Witch's blog, I got to thinking about a sweater recycling project I had recently undertaken. Long story short: I had decided to take some thrift-shop human sweaters and turn them into dog sweaters.

Here's what happens when you get a slightly felted L.L. Bean sweater and cut it out then sew it into a more-or-less canine shape:

And here's what happens after you chase a small terrier around the house and make him try on the sweater:

I'm not really a huge proponent of dressing up dogs. They're dignified creatures, after all. It's hard enough to maintain your dignity when you're compelled to sniff other creatures' butts all the time without being made to wear frou-frou garments. But I tend not to run the heater much in the winter and I have cold-natured dogs, so making them elegantly understated and practical sweaters seemed like a good idea.

What seemed like a bad idea was spending a lot of time knitting sweaters from scratch. The thought of spending weeks on a neat fair isle outfit only to have it end up covered in poop and leaves and mud after a brisk chase session in the yard was too much to bear. So I bought a few woolly sweaters for $3 and under and dragged out my grandmother's sewing machine, which heretofore I had only used once in life, the end result of which was to make myself a pair of shorts with mismatched legs.

But the dog sweater turned out quite nicely, I think, and so cheaply, which is a bonus. I didn't even have to spring for a pattern. I just measured the dog and after I cleaned up all my bite wounds, I was good to go.