Thursday, April 29, 2010

Grafting on a heel

Last night I decided to put in the heel of the plain stockinette socks I've been working on.

So far I'd just knit a tube of stockinette. I planned to do an afterthought heel, I remember seeing the technique sometime in the last couple years either in a knitting book or a blog or something. Anyway, it didn't seem like it would be too hard to figure out so I threw caution to the wind and hunkered down to do it last night. (Throwing caution to the wind, because with no internet at home I couldn't get any hints once I started.)

So, I knit the heel to be added in, exactly the same way as I knit the toe.

With the length of the heel staring me in the face I had a better time guessing how long to make the foot (these won't be for me, so I made them a little longer than I would for myself). I took two spare circs and picked up the stitches on either side of my chosen row,

held my breath and snipped the row in between.

At this point I am using 6 circular needles - finally justifying the ridiculous number of 2 mm needles I have!

After that, I grafted the heel on and voila!

The grafting took a lot longer than I expected, and dealing with the corners of the heel was a PITA, as usual for me. Regardless of the method of construction, I always get a hole on one side of the heel. Anyway, the hole in this case is no better or worse than usual for me, so I suppose it could be hole-free in the hands of a more careful knitter.

Anyway I am pretty pleased with the result, the socks are going to be the right length and I can use every last drop of this yarn. I'm so sick of seeing it in my stash I don't want any leftovers hehehe.

In preparation of this post, I checked around and it seems that "afterthought heel" technique is done slightly differently by different folks, though the others that I saw in my quick search picked up the stitches from the tube and knit the heel off of it rather than grafting it on. Oh well, since I kinda like grafting I don't mind the extra work I made for myself. Perhaps I'll try it the more usual way for the second sock.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Slow Progress

I’ve got a bunch of projects on the needles, so progress on any one project isn’t really noteworthy.  But, in the interest of not letting the blog go quiet for too long, here’s a look at what I’m working on.
Least excitingly is this plain sock.
 This is yarn I bought of ebay a couple years ago.  It was at one point most of a pair of socks, but it wasn’t working out and they ended up frogged.  This time, I just cast on a toe using Judy’s Magic Cast On, made increases until it fit and just knit.  I’m planning on doing some kind of afterthought heel, but I haven’t figured out the details yet (it’s a new technique for me).  I like the colors of this yarn though I would never wear something like this, if the experiment with the heel is successful these’ll be somebody’s Christmas present.  How’s THAT for planning ahead on holiday knitting?
 I’ve also been working on the Cleopatra wrap that I started ages and ages ago.   At this point it’s more of a test of resolve to finish the thing, because I don’t particularly like or dislike it.  I’m considerably less enamored of the colorway than I was a couple years ago, the blue is much more prominent than it seemed in the skein.  It’s hard to get a good representation of the color using the light in my apartment, but this is ok.

 The yarn actually feels great but for this pattern I should have chosen something more solid.  Anyway, I’ll be happy if the day finally comes when I finish this thing.  I’m still deciding if the finished product will be glam enough for my grandma or if I should knit her something else and keep this for the office.  Those blue streaks really bug me and I don’t know if my grandma would wear something in that colorway.

 The East Meets West bag that I started is going only slowly.  Actually I was in a bit of a colorwork frenzy after I cast on because I have a lot of fun knitting with yarn in each hand.  But I am a little worried about the tension in my floats, and I’m considering ripping out and starting over.  On the one hand, since this is a lined bag the floats don’t have to be perfect, but on the other hand, since I’m cramming so many stitches on the needle I think some of the floats are too short and will cause some puckering .  And now that I am thinking of this issue every time I pick up those needles, it’s hard not to obsess about those stinkin’ floats and the fun of the project is completely gone.  Still undecided on this one.
 Finally, I am again working on the Lily sweater.  I went with a hem and so far I’m happy with the change.  Here’s the inside, honestly that dark blue yarn was the closest thing I had in the stash.

I think it’s going to make the the sweater have a more “proper” look to it overall, which may or may not suit the recipient but at least the bottom will lie flat.

Another problem I’ve encountered with this project is that one of my skeins is a different dyelot.  It’s pretty obvious in person actually, as in this photo:

(the big cake is 2 skeins’ worth of the main dyelot, the result of the frogging.)
So I’ve been switching between the two colors.  I don’t think one will be able to tell on the completed garment; if anything it will serve to make the bottom of the sweater slightly darker than the top which ought to be flattering on the recipient.
Anyway, that’s what’s happening around here, aside from it being “the anniversary of my 15th birthday” as Mariah recently said.  I got a very pretty gift from a special someone, along with some extra delicious salty caramel cheesecake (REAL cheesecake, not the weird edible-foam-on-top-of-a-twinkie shit that I often find labeled cheesecake here).

Oh yeah, and I realized that the big lizards around here can get really BIG.

Be good or the monitor lizard will get you!