28 January 2010

More Socks

Pattern:  Fuji
Designer:  Judy Sumner from Knitted Socks East and West
Yarn:  Elann.com Esprit, 98.3% cotton 1.7% elastic
Modifications:  Deepened the heel flap by two rows and knitted toes on what is originally a pedicure sock pattern.  I also replaced all the SKPsso decreases with SSK's.

There are so many mistakes in these.  You can't see most of them without looking closely but I was definitely asleep at the wheel.  One row of cuff ribbing is seed stitch.  Many of the yarn overs are faked in because they were missed in their intended rows and many accidental yarn overs are knitted back into the next row.  These socks would never do as a gift but, as they are for me, I left the errors.

This is the second time I've used Esprit for socks.  I quite like results and it wears and wears.  Each time the elastic laden socks are washed, they spring back to a nice snug fit.

Lucy rules the roost.

26 January 2010

"Quilts and Art" or "Quilts Are Art"

So I visited The Textile Museum last week.  Currently, they have two amazing exhibits. 

I spent most of my visit on the second floor with Fashionably Wrapped: The Influence of Kashmir Shawls.  One thing the Museum does exceptionally well is to put beautifully displayed collections into historical context that is clear and relevant.  The fabric becomes so much more than fashion when one learns that European demand for Kashmir shawls drove the Indian weavers to come up with faster and cheaper methods of creating them.  When these methods became easily copied in Europe, the original market collapsed and thousands of Kashmir weavers died of starvation, taking the secrets of their craft with them.  Knowing this and then looking closely at the interlocking twill of a huge shawl that took somebody eighteen months to create by hand, makes the viewing so much more personal.  One can almost see the hands of the weaver in the threads.

On the third floor is the Quilt Collection.  It is, as one would suspect, stunning.  Such colour and patterning.  I highly recommend a visit before this display closes in March.  It did get me thinking though.  All these quilts are from the private collection of one family. Many art and artifact exhibits in Toronto are thus - on loan from wealthy collectors and displayed with much credit given to the benefactors.  In this case, it works.  Textile Museum?  Quilts?  It works, right?  However, so many exhibits elsewhere these days seem to be of the "Joe Smith's Private Collection of Stuff He Really Likes and He Gave Us A Lot of Money, So Here It Is", variety.  With the lack of proper funding, museums seem to be more and more bound to this type of thing.  It just makes me a little sad.

19 January 2010

Later That Day in The Batcave...

Arrghhh!  Almost done the toe in Sock #2 and I notice a major error in Sock #1.  I skipped six rows of a twelve row pattern repeat in the middle of the foot!  Ripping time.  These socks are not getting finished today.

Knitting Anxiety

Does it ever happen to you?  You spend an hour (or four) cruising Ravelry and knitting blogs.  There are so many beautiful projects calling out to be knit.  I want to cast on at least ten different things right now.  I want to photograph my entire stash and categorize, label, sort.  There are knitted garments in my closet that pre-date my blog(!) which really should be photographed and posted.  There are baskets and baskets of yarn in my apartment.  All those lovely skeins taunt me with their beauty and want to become hats, gloves, sweaters!  I know I will not live long enough to knit all the patterns and all the yarn that I own.  Unbelievably, I REALLY want to go yarn shopping and buy more.  I'm experiencing heart palpitations!

Today is a day off for me.  I'm heading to the cafe where I will finish the toe on Fuji sock #2.

10 January 2010

Got A Rare One

This is Zozo, The Universe. 
"Roll us and you will hear,
the secrets of the universe soon become clear."
Apparently, when I spin him, he will make my WISH COME TRUE. Yay!
The Daughter knows me so well.  What a treat to open up a blind assortment toy on Christmas morning and pull out a rare mystery figurine.  He is a friend for my Buddy Chub and Popa.  Now, if only I can get Malfi.

06 January 2010

Me and Kate Winslet

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Marianne Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a bit too brutally honest. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately

05 January 2010

Socks is the Password

2010 is all abouts sock so far. I recently picked up this beautiful book, Knitted Socks East and West, using a bookstore gift card. Love it! The photography is gorgeous. How can socks look so luxurious? I guess it helps that the settings are all warm and homey looking and the models are wearing lovely, natural fibre clothes with their socks. Those feet sure look happy in those photos.
I've cast on the cover pair. They're meant as pedicure socks but I'll be doing a toe. The pattern calls for a yarn with a touch of elastic so I'm using my Elann Esprit with which I have had sock success before. They're such a fun and fast knit. I cast on just yesterday and am already turning the heel on sock number one.

What a difference from the socks below. I lovingly refer to them as The Noro Socks of Pain. They took six months to complete! The yarn is so difficult to work with, it catches on itself and is often over spun. I'm not even going to start on the hidden knot in the skein that caused that hard stripe in the foot of one sock. Also, the heel just wouldn't work for me. I ripped and re-knit it three times and it still looks merely passable. I never want to see these things again. Immediately after weaving in the ends, I tossed them in The Daughter's sock drawer. She has already worn them and declares she likes the hateful things. So, at least my work was not a waste.