Tuesdays are for knitting

Given my schedule this summer — which is class & work on Mondays and Wednesdays — I get a lot of knitting done on Mondays and Wednesdays. Wait, you might say, didn’t you just say you’re busy those days? Yes! But I also have an hour-and-a-half commute each way from home to school/work, and I tend to knit on the subway.

Last week, I finished these socks, which are a simple toe-up 2×2 rib.

The yarn is Claudia Hand-Paint, which I love for its sproing. It just squishes so nicely once it’s knit up: there’s so much life to the yarn! The colors are fabulous, too, which doesn’t hurt.

I don’t particularly love knitting toe up socks — I don’t hate it, but it’s not my default sock pattern — but this yarn comes in such small skeins that I feel like I have to do it toe-up to be sure I make the most of it. I do, after all, have pretty big feet (~size 10 US, which is British 7.5/8 and European 41/42). The only thing worse than making socks for me is making socks for the rest of my family — my sister’s feet are larger than mine, and my father’s feet are 12″ long. That’s a LOT of foot! These socks look longer off the foot than they do on:

Having finished those, and woven the ends in on Sunday, Monday I started a new pair! These are Plymouth Happy Feet yarn, which I’ve never knit with before.

The yardage on the Happy Feet is only about 192 yards, which may sound like a lot — but remember, big-footed family. My default assumption for a pair of socks is that it will take about 200 yards of yarn. So it was a bit of a surprise when I decided that, no, I wouldn’t be knitting these socks toe-up — I’d be knitting a pair of Monkey Socks from the cuff down, and if I have to add in a different-colored toe, I’ll add on a different-colored toe.

Conferencing is tiring!

Things have been quiet because I’ve spent the last four days at the RBMS pre-conference, which is the annual conference of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the American Library Association. (I’m in grad school for medieval history right now, but I just finished library school, and I want to be a librarian, not a professor.)

There were panels and discussions and round-tables and plenary sessions and a technology petting zoo and a booksellers’ display and receptions and time to go out for lunch and dinner with colleagues, and almost 400 other people who think that rare books and special collections libraries and materials are the best thing ever. It was a blast.

I noticed one or two other people knitting, but mine never made its way out of the hotel room: there was just too much going on!

Now that I’m waiting in the airport, I’m knitting armwarmers for a friend. When I finish those (and I will) I’ll go back to a second sock for myself. Both projects were selected on the basis of being very small and portable, and easy enough to knit on a plane without needing a pattern.

What kinds of projects do you bring with you when you travel?

Knitting WiPs, or, sock roundup.

Apologies for the silence here! I was wrapping up the semester and then at the medieval congress in Kalamazoo, and that all added up to not very much getting accomplished, craft-wise.

Today’s post is a knitting round-up. I tend to have a few projects going on at a time (this is probably evident in how I’m going about starting quilts right and left) and I have a couple too many knitting projects going on right now. Hopefully this will incentivise my finishing one or two of them.

There are socks for my mother, which are this close to being done:

They’re actually a lot of fun: the yarn is Malabrigo sock, which I’d never knit with before – it’s a joy. The pattern is 2k-2p-inside-out, and I really like the way it forms little ribbed chevrons down the foot.

Then there are the blue socks for me, which are the only socks I’ve knit for myself in at least a year (what can I say, I have a family that appreciates hand-knit socks!). I”ve just started the second one, and I have about three inches of it — it’s slow going, but it’s good subway knitting.

They’re in Claudia Hand-Paints, which I love knitting with, but always knit from toe-up, because its skeins are on the small side, and my feet? Well, they’re on the large side. Better safe than sorry, no matter how easy it is to call different-colored toes a “design feature.”

There’s also a red sweater that I started two Novembers ago as an attempt at National Sweater Knitting Month — I got almost all of it done, realized my gauge on the bottom half of it was wrong, ripped it all out, and haven’t picked it up again for ages because it’s so disappointing to have to re-do so much work. It doesn’t get to have a picture, because I don’t love it enough right now. Also because the red yarn photographs really badly in artificial light.

I have two projects that are so close to being done that, apparently, they have encountered Zeno’s Paradox and will now never be finished. I started to teach myself how to knit entrelac last summer, got almost to the point where I’d have to bind off the scarf, and completely lost interest. I also knit a baby sweater for my little cousin (the same one who got the ladybug quilt) and didn’t finish it in time for her to still be small enough to wear it. Hopefully I’ll finish at least one of them over the weekend, and be able to post them next week. I figure someone I know has to have another baby eventually, so the sweater can just lay in wait for that. The scarf, though, is probably going to be re-purposed as a pillow, since it’s too wide and short to make a reasonable scarf.

Finally, there’s the “I have the brainpower of a really small rock right now” project:

It’s the Log Cabin Baby Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knits, done in Cascade Eco Wool and Cascade Eco Plus (which is the same thing, only dyed all kinds of colors). It’s great for watching television or sitting in the car, because it’s all garter stitch, and there’s no thinking other than stopping once in a while to find out you still have way more ridges to knit before you’re done with that block. I love that the blocks are asymmetrical and the pattern doesn’t expand in a traditional log cabin fashion: I can’t wait to have this finished and be able to curl up under it, though at the rate I’m knitting, I’ll finish it sometime in June.

I think that’s all the projects I have going at the moment. Wednesday, back to quilting!