Monday, December 20, 2010

Home!! Home at last!

I'm done travelling for the foreseeable future, hooray! * I went up to Tehachapi this past weekend, Friday and Saturday (and luckily, the drive wasn't too bad in spite of all of the rain we're getting); it was tremendously productive, and so good to see everyone. But I'm glad to be home.

The cold I've been fighting off is glad to be home, too - it is making its presence felt, but thus far I've kept it at bay, just constant sneezing and sniffling. I am not swimming this morning (we do swim in the rain many times; after all - we're wet either way, right?); it seemed like that might be pushing it. Instead I am going to go into work (dragging the girls with me - they've got ants in their pants after three days of rain) to file grades and clear up a few administrative email type things, and then I think I might be able to consider this semester done and gone. Another hooray!

I've been knitting along through all of this. I finished Rick's socks just before leaving for Tehachapi, thus ensuring that everyone in the family had some new knitwear from me before I left.
As you can see, the socks match Tilly. I may have to rename them Tilly socks. These are knitted on size two needles, using Lang Jawoll Magic yarn, on sixty stitches. I put little cables up the sides, once I'd turned the heel.
These are my usual Rick toe-up recipe, where I put a heel flap on the bottom of the foot, and then decrease the gusset stitches in pairs along the back of the heel. He doesn't like the way a gusset looks, but he does like the way a slip-stitch heel flap wears and and cushions on the bottom of his heel, so this is a good compromise. I didn't get a picture of the cuff, but the little cables extend into the 4x2 ribbing. I'm not sure what I thought of this yarn; it's a singles with nylon, so it felt splitty to me, and it was sometimes hard to work without looking, which is rather the point of a relatively plain pair of socks like this, to my mind. I'm not sure I'd get it again, but I'll see how it wears - that may change my mind.

With that done, I was free to cast on for a very plain pair of meeting socks for me. I finished the first one on Friday, and the second on Saturday.
I actually tried to get these to match, by winding off some yarn after the first sock to get to where I thought the colors would go in the same order, but it didn't work. I think I just need to accept that when knitting with Noro, I hand over all color control. I'm actually OK with that when knitting something like this - pure mindless entertainment. These are knitted with Noro Silk Garden Sock, on size 2.5 needles, 44 stitches, toe-up with a short-row heel. I made them longer than the last pair, and I'm entirely delighted with them. I may have to go get another skein of Noro; these are going to be my mindless knitting for a while, I think.

But mindless doesn't always do the trick, so I've been working away assiduously on the Tibetan Clouds stole, and have finished the first side panel and all the set-up for the second side. I realized, though, that I'm going to come up short on beads, so I've ordered more. I can keep working on it in bits until they come (or until I run out of beads, whichever comes first), but in the meantime, I needed another project that requires some thought, and I guess I needed silk, so I decided the time had come to cast on for the Silk Road socks I've been wanting to design ever since going to the Silk Road exhibit at the Bower Museum last July. There was a lovely pattern on a silk mortuary face covering, gold on blue, that struck me as being perfect for knitted socks. I put together a chart for it a while ago in my little knitting notebook.
And last night I wound up the Spud and Chloe yarn I bought just for this, and cast on.
I decided to start with a braid at the top (there will probably be a hanging tassel there, too, before I'm done), and then worked from there. I'm pretty happy with the way this is working out, and I am delighted with the fabric itself. This yarn is absolutely gorgeous - it's a merino/silk blend (perfect for a replica inspired by a silk weaving), and it is so much cushier than I'd thought it would be for such a fine fingering yarn - the yarn is the perfect weight for doubling in this way without being too thick. So I'll work my way down the leg of these over the next few nights; I think I know how I want the heel to work, and I'm rather looking forward to getting there and seeing whether I'm right. If this all turns out, I'll try to write it up as a pattern; it should be fairly sizeable by messing with yarn weight and/or pattern repeats.

All right, off to file grades and put this semester to bed!

*Note: Rick is tracking the snow levels at Mammoth very closely; they've gotten another 7-8 feet with this recent storm. Skiing may be in my future, all desires not to travel notwithstanding.


Allison said...

I love the way all of your Noro projects have turned out. I haven't yet knit with Noro, but I think I see a pair of socks in my future...

And I do love the Silk Road socks. The look is tidy yet has so much vim because of the contrast between the two colours. (Yes, please do write the pattern!!)

Willow said...

My holiday knitting is much more boring than yours! Beautiful silk socks!

My professor has never wanted a pr of hand knit socks. Perhaps I'll show him the picture of Rick's and he'll change his mind.

Merry Christmas!

Unknown said...

Love the heel flap on the bottom of Rick's socks. I've thought about giving this a try, as the bottoms of heels seem to wear faster than the backs of heels around here.

Mary Lou said...

Your silk sock is lovely, and you can spend your now free time planning it. I all for fraternal twins with Noro, but then again, I am a lazy knitter. Feel better.

Anonymous said...

yippee! Jocelyn's home! You must be relieved this semester is finished. I absolutely love your Noro socks - they teach you to let go of the illusion of control. :)

Bea said...

Welcome home! Hope you guys have a happy Christmas!

twinsetjan said...

Loving the silk road socks...and I love even more that you also take notes and sketches as you travel. I have quite a few "ideas" from my world travels...maybe someday I'll translate some into a tangible product!

Carrie#K said...

Traveling to snow doesn't count.

Your Silk Road socks show the pattern perfectly! Very nice.

Aw. Tilly socks. Nice tip on the heel, I'll have to try that.

EGunn said...

Yay for home and finished!! I love the Tilly socks; Rick is a lucky guy. The Silk road socks are going to be beautiful! I love the colorwork on them.

Have a great winter break! =)

Helen said...

The blue and yellow socks are heavenly and I'm so jealous that you found someone to knit those mittens for. What I can't understand is how you find time to work, do all that knitting, and write long, interesting blog posts. I think you must neglect your children or something, to make time for all that :) Happy Christmas!

Gwen said...

I love all the socks, especially the ones you're working on now. Welcome home! (a bit late)

Anonymous said...

Yes, really.