Truckle

Oh hey, remember these? I totally do!

truckle main smallOr, more specifically, I remember the terrible terrible plague I had while I knit them.  Their working title when I was knitting them was zombie socks (as I was at least half dead as I made them).  But truckle (which means to yield out of weakness) seemed a much more fitting official title!

truckle 3 smallThey’re mostly plain stockinette.  There’s just one pretty little decorated panel down the outside of the ankle (and even that is an easy-to-memorize pattern) to keep you entertained.  But the combination totally works and results in a sock that’s easy to knit but not at all boring.

truckle 2 smallAnd just to make sure there’s something a little engaging going on, the gusset is put together in a fun way.  It’s exactly what these needed to keep from feeling too plain.

They’re up on ravelry now.  And, if you happen to use the code YIELD when you check out, you’ll get a dollar the price between now and Friday.  Just put Truckle in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code YIELD.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

And I promise, the socks won’t actually give you the plague.  They’re just good to have on hand in case it sneaks up on you when you’re not looking!

truckle 4 small

Truckle

I know, you’ve been waiting for these for awhile.

You guys totally talked me in to doing them. They started out as my ‘too sick to think’ socks.  I really didn’t think you would be interested in them, but it seems you like them! Of course the super-simple to knit socks turned out to be unexpectedly challenging to write up.

Once the cold medicine-induced brain fog lifted, I got it figured out.  Lots of lovely folks helped me test them to be sure that the instructions were clear.

Then, well, then I stuck them in my ‘to be photographed’ basket and let them hang out for two months.  It was too cold to go frolicking outside without shoes, and I didn’t think I could get the pictures I wanted inside.

Enter my new boyfriend camera.

Yeah, I finally broke down and bought a grown up camera.  It took me a long time.  I had to talk myself into it.  But it was so totally worth it.

I can now take pictures inside…you know, that place where the furnace works and where it very rarely rains (not never, there was that one really unfortunate experience, but rarely).  That means pictures will be much less weather-dependent.  This bodes well for timely pattern releases.  Of course it means I will have to be sure to vacuum before I take pictures, but that’s likely easier than waiting for a warm dry sunny day in this part of the world.

If you’ve been waiting for these, head over and check them out.

More Tools of the Trade

So the other day you met Alphonse.  He’s quite dapper, and makes a perfect house guest. Today I’m showing off some truly funky sock blockers.

Now you know we’ve got some big feet in this house.  I wear a ladies’ size 11, and The Boy wears a men’s size 13.  These are big feet.  I decline to feel bad about this, as the size of a person’s feet is more or less out of their control.  The only thing I felt bad about was the difficulty in vigorously blocking socks in these sizes.  I had a pair of wire blockers in what they called extra large.  They more or less worked for most of my socks, but they didn’t really make much of a dent in The Boy’s socks.  Enter these guys:

My parents found them at an antique store, so alas I can’t tell you where to find your own.  They are labeled with the number 11.  I have no idea how, or even if, this correlates with a current shoe size.  They are just a bit big for my socks and the perfect size for The Boy’s.  I’m completely taken with the pointy toes.

And yes, in case you’re wondering, this parade of tools is a way of hiding that my knitting isn’t terribly earth shattering at the moment.  The louche socks are taller.  The secret socks are taller.  The pile of swatches for cough book two cough is growing.  With any luck at all, the pattern for truckle should be out early next week.

Have any of you guys used ‘antique’ knitting tools or put non-knitting supplies to work for you on the dark woolly side?

Stormy

Ice storms make for lovely knitting weather.  Noisy, but lovely.

The second of the green swirly socks, henceforth to be known as Louche, is now underway.  Even more important, the scribbling, calculating, and doodling required to write the pattern has been completed.  I’ll likely turn it from my chicken scratch into something someone else has a hope of reading and put it out for testers later this week.

As a scheduling note, the pattern for Truckle is done and ready to go out, save only a picture.  Of course getting a picture requires me, plus The Boy, plus daylight, plus either a house suited for photography or a day with obliging weather.  I’m hoping this coming weekend will work, but I’m not sure.  I’m eager to get it done so I can start wearing the things before the winter finishes up completely.

The cowl pattern is also done, save for the photograph.  That, however, will require the services of the lovely Lauren.  My guess would be early March for that pattern.

Meanwhile, I plan to go look at all the pretty ice.

Not A Jellyfish

I think I (scandalously) neglected to show you an on-the-head pic for the blue poufy hat.  Bowl shots more or less work for round hats, not so much for poufy hats.  We took a little stroll through a local park on Christmas and got pictures of the red hat and the blue hat and The Boy’s hat. Apparently my hair is pretty much exactly the same color as leafless willow branches.  Who knew?  I’m still having some internal qualms about how to wear a poufy hat…my inclination is to send it off to the side, but the proper way seems to be to send it straight back.  I will likely decide I don’t care and just wear it however it happens to fall (my general approach for hair, so why wouldn’t it work for hats).

We did not, alas, get pictures of Truckle.  I’m trying to wimp out and find a way to take those inside.  It’s cold here and taking the pictures takes a surprisingly long time.  I foresee cannibalizing all the lamps in the house and seeing if I can pull it off in a warmer location.

And now for a brief scheduling note.  The pattern for the red hat and mitts should be out right at the beginning of January.  A week or so later (depending on the success of that lamp plan) Truckle should be out.  Then, in February, The Boy’s hat and mitts and the blue hat and mitts seen here will be out too.  And then?  Then?  I’m gonna make some more socks.  Wouldn’t want to forget how!

Uncharacteristically Productive

Finished things have just been falling off my needles.  I blame the hats.  They themselves are quick and easy, and they lead to mitts which are also quick and easy.  The basket that usually holds the half dozen or so projects in various stages of completion currently holds a mere two works in progress and a stack of things awaiting a photo day.  (Having a knitting site and selling patterns means that you don’t just have to finish a knitted item before you can use it, you have to finish it and photograph it.  This can be very taxing if you’re a fan of immediate gratification.)

Truckle, the red hat and wrist warmers (henceforth to be called Involute), and the as-of-yet-unnamed-jellyfish-turned-hat are all awaiting photos.  Jellyfish hat now has matching…hmm, what do we call these?  Mitts?  Or do you need a thumb to be a mitt?  Wristlets?  Gauntlets?  Whatever…decorative bits of yarn based fluff intended to adorn and warm your wrists.  Some time real soon now I need to get hands, heads, knitting, daylight, a reasonably picturesque backdrop, and a camera together at the same place at the same time and take some photos done so I can start using all of these goodies.

Learning from my Mistakes

So a while back I casually mentioned, late on a Friday evening, that we were heading off to Pittsburgh the next day.  I asked for yarn store recommendations.  You guys were kind enough to provide them.  Then, in a fit of truly brilliant work, I didn’t have a chance to check your helpful comments the next day because we were actually in Pittsburgh and my internet access was not what one might have hoped for.  It was not my most impressive move.  But, I am capable of learning from my mistakes, so I’m trying this with a bit more advance notice this time.  I’m going to be in Rochester, NY this Saturday.  Are there any marvelous yarn stores I should be sure not to miss?

And, on a slightly different theme (at least I hope this won’t be a mistake) truckle (the socks formerly known as zombie socks) are now up for testing.  I will be sending the pattern out on Thursday, and I need folks who can knit at least one sock in the next two weeks.  If you’re interested, head over to ravelry and volunteer.

Let’s Recap

So back on November 6 we got our first snow and I went a bit batty, as is proper and appropriate for the first snow.  Then it got oddly warm.  Freakishly warm.  Downright balmy.  Just look at the background in the pictures between then and now and note the bright green grass and total lack of snow.  Thankfully, that seems to have been remedied.  It’s been snowing on and off for the last three days, and it shows no sign of stopping.

Alas the snow does complicate getting pictures a bit.  The railing of my back porch is rather covered in the stuff (as are my socks at the moment), and the back yard has more or less disappeared.  You’ll just have to take my word for it that it still exists.

I’ve been a bit of a slug on the knitting front (real life is so totally getting in the way of knitting and I don’t much appreciate it).  I have at least made a bit of progress toward finishing up the second purple sock.  It’s looking fairly crumpled at the moment, but it will smooth out to match its mate once it has a bit of a block.  With luck, it should be done later this week.  The pattern is written and I’ll be putting out a call for testers in the next day or two.

Much Better

So it turns out the secret to pouf success (or at least to less obvious pouf failure) is rather extreme blocking.  I first blocked the hat on a plate.  This led to the aforementioned jellyfish incident.  The crease or line made by the edge of the plate was too close to the top of the hat, which made the band at the brim far too thick.  It was not flattering.  I think the theory was sound, and it might have worked with a larger plate, but I didn’t have one handy.

The second attempt involved a giant mixing bowl, much larger than any human head.  This got me closer to the desired result, but it was still not quite right.  The brim was too stretched out and tended to slip down over my eyes after a minute or two.  The third attempt involved another bowl, this one even bigger around but much shallower.  That was apparently the way to go.  The top of the hat got thoroughly stretched, but the brim didn’t, resulting in a much more secure fit.  I may still run a few rows of elastic through the inside of the brim just to give it a tiny bit more grip, but the overall project may now be declared a success.

Oh, and for those who are worried about it, the leg of the second zombie sock (henceforth to be known as Truckle) is just about done and the first draft of the pattern is written.  I’ll likely be putting out a request for testers for it some time later this week.  I know folks like it, so I didn’t want it to slip by anyone who’s been waiting for it.

Well Alrighty Then

Ok.  So apparently you guys like the purple socks.  Rather a lot. I got comments here…and on ravelry…and in my email.  I’m flattered!  Also a bit puzzled, as they really are fairly simple little socks, but flattered.  I’ve cast on the second sock and that helped me figure out how to describe what’s going on.  With luck, the pattern should be out next month.

Just so we’re clear, you do realize that the other side is totally plain right?  I meant it when I said these were easy.  Nothing but knit stitches over there.