Monday, March 19, 2012

Zombies or Cavemen

This was an afternoon of fun in a gully at the back of my mom's property. well, maybe not the back. She has 18 acres, mostly wooded with trails, downed trees to walk across, edible plants, wildlife and a deep, sandy gully. When it rains a lot, this fills to a few inches with water. It is a steep climb into/out of the gully, nearly straight up, probably 15 feet or so. The children love to climb in it, play and often hike to the end of it and climb back out for more exploration.

This takes them to someone else land but the someone else has a lot of land and does not care. The kids got lost one day, this day they didnt get lost. They came home, and we thought they looked like cavemen but my brother Grayson said that they looked like zombies!

Dressing off and hosing down was required before coming inside for a real shower could happen. Mom has brand new carpet! They had a great time anyway despite the cold water and a few ticks that had to be pulled off.

Phase FINISHED. X 1.

So the bottom portion, like where the arch is on either side of it, is a bit fat. I guess I mean, it looks as if it wouldnt be tight enough to the foot. It actually is tight enough, I need to take a picture of it on mama's foot but I didnt yet.

At any rate, there it is! I am so proud, I stuck with it! It isnt hard to do, takes time to complete the heel and gussets because I didnt know how to do it yet. I will still need to view the sock video on knitting help, and I will need to pay close attention to my instructions over and over. After a few pr, I should be able to do it without help. The sock time total was probably 10 hrs of work, which is a long time. 20 hrs for a pr of socks would be a long time! However, I think the 2nd one will take probably half that time, maybe less. It was just a few minutes for the rib portion you see in the picture for sock #2, this part will be less than an hr to complete the whole top as that bit is fast.

So it looks good, came out very nicely and it fits! For the next pair, I will reduce the cast on by about 4 stitches, which will make the arch portion tighter too as you use the same number of stitches for that bit of the sock directions. I will also use a rib stitch (same as the top portion) from gusset to last 2" (where you decrease for toe area) because that will make a tighter, better fit. I hope to finish this next sock quickly, but will need a 3rd ball of yarn. The first sock too about 15 ft of the 2nd ball I brought so wont finish until I can get the 3rd at home in the RV. Otherwise I could leave mama with this nice pair of socks!

Oh, and she likes them!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sock Phase 4

I dont know if this is really phase 4, nothing new happened except more rows in the round. Most people (that I know who knit) do not use this small cable needle. Some people say it cramps their hand, I like it especially in stainless steel. The stitches slip fast and easy, and I dont have 6 points to get in my way. Well, 8. For knitting in the round my work would be on 3-4 double point needles and I knit with another. I hated that section only, I am slow at it and constantly worry that my work may fall off of my needles. Thus, in the post before this, I was switching to the cable needle-2 needles with a cable in between. You can make anything on these cables, even things you are not knitting in the round. You can knit a flat blanket on them. I have a 62" cable with 5" needles that I have a blanket on right now.

So this looks sorta like a sock now right? I am so pleased! I somehow thought it wouldnt. It is not perfect and looks a bit fat, I think I would do knit/purl next time on the foot as well as the top. either way it looks fine on, yes I have already tried it on after blocking my needles from stitch loss.

We are still at Mama's, we will be until the end of this month. Frank is in the field in Ak, so there was just no point in being there. We are so happy to be in a big house with woods and space out back.The kids get their school done in between jaunts into the woods. They have come home covered in mud, sometimes they carry in visitors IE ticks. They have been lost once and found themselves on someone else's land, but by Tad's good sense of direction they made it home. They are often gone for hours at a time!

I am working on my sitting around skills, procrastinating on my homework and sharpening my knitting and sarcasm skills. My mom is a lot of fun to joke with, we mostly sit around and chat, watch funny stuff on youtube, enjoy the fact that she isnt working. she will come spend the month of may with us in Ak, this is the most time I have been able to spend with her since N was born. I love being with her, I miss my husband but love to be here with her. Even if she DID tell me to hurry up with her dang socks...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sock Phase 3

Ok, so in the last photo the bottom of the rib (top needle in this pic) was divided onto 2 needles, and the bottom of the sock (were 2nd and 3rd needles come to a point) was on a different needle, and there were no stitches along the sides. I combined the top needles to 1, and then picked up stitches in the slipped edge, and divided that onto 2 needles, using the middle back of heel-where the points are of the bottom 2 needles- as the center and the starting point for this part. So I start at that tip, and do the needle on the right, decreasing at the end. Knit across top needle, then decrease on the left needle first, and back down to the original point where you can see the yarn right now.

That sounds SO Confusing if you do not knit or havent knitted long enough to make socks. Its not too bad though if you watch the videos on knitting help, and also have a good friend or two who can help you out with instructions. I will keep knitting in the round here, decreasing as mentioned on 2 of the needles/beginning and end. I will do this until I end up with my original number of cast on stitches at the very top of the sock, then I will just knit without decreasing for 2" more and then finish off my toe. So the hard part is finished!

It isnt perfect, I can see my mistakes. It isnt completely symmetrical, but it isnt too bad for a first sock. Will continue to post photos as I go.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sock phase 2

The ribbed top of this sock didnt take long, nor was it difficult. The heal flap was also pretty simple, I just moved all of the stitches to 3 double point needes-these are the tiny silver needles shown here- according to pattern. I think it wanted 32 stitches on needle 1 for the heel flap and then I did 32 rows back and forth. Next I had to turn the heel which I did, successfully I guess. It isnt symmetrical, and I honestly do not know why. I have never made a sock and its pretty confusing to me really. The pattern wanted me to slip a stitch purl or knit wise (every other row) and then purl/knit a certain number (1st row was 2 past center) then p or k 2 tog then 1, then turn work. It was kinda weird but ended up doing what it said it would, making a heel.

Now I have to pick up stitches along the sides (?) I think and then... make the gussets. Which seems logical but I cant actually read the pattern, there are no pictures so I really cannot see what to do exactly. I will go watch the sock video again under advanced techniques of knitting Then I will likely just wing it!

It is summer here in TN, nearly 80 deg today and humid. In Ak, its quite cold still with a lot of snow. I cant decide which I like best right now. I am barefooted and wearing a t shirt, which is pretty simple. Easier than putting on 4 layers...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Socks for my mama

I learned to knit a little more than a year ago. I fell and hurt my ankle, I posted that on here. It was when Frank was deployed. A local homeschooled teen came and lived with me to help me, as I wasnt able to care for the animals. She knew how to knit, and encouraged us to learn. Tad and I sat in the recliner together watching knitting help videos. We learned basic techniques and made several hats, he showed his hat in 4h and made 2nd place. This year he is making a 2nd hat, and hopes to make some basic baby socks (faster than big socks). Nathalie learned to knit as well but didnt get a project done for 4h, she finds clothes boring so we bought a book called Knit Wits for her. I think Frank will have to help her with her project choice, she has chosen one of the monsters to knit for 4h but I cant understand all of the directions yet. I am poor at instructions, I do better just trying it out until it looks right.

All of that to say, I really, really like my mama. She is a truly amazing person, most people can say some good things about their mamas, but truly-my mama is miraculously wonderful. She is one of my favorite people, and never in my life can I or my siblings, even added up could ever give back to her all that she has given to us. She gave her time, her efforts, her sleep, her every care to us and as adults each of us do special things to say thank you to her often.

She does love socks and hats and other knitted things, she is bad about spending money for herself and does not have enough time to knit. She crochets and is a professional seamstress, I know she could knit. So as she doesnt have time, I have spent much of my knitting time making things for her. People at my Kansas knitting group (all older women with grown children) all said they wished that they could have a daughter like me! They thought it was sweet and kind that my knitting efforts, my attempts to learn, were all to create lovely things for my mama. They didnt understand, they didnt know how absolutely wonderful she always was and is. My children idolize her, my husband loves her dearly, she is my best friend.

This is a orange pastel swirl bamboo, it is silky soft fine gauge sock yarn. I am making some socks for her, this is all that I have so far but it is going pretty quick. I am using an Ann Norling pattern, I am excited to see the sock becoming something and am working quickly to be able to present them to my mama in May when she comes to see us. We are here at her house still, but I will not be done before I leave.

So that was it, just showing off my sock and my opinion of my mama.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Prayers for Apollo

Renee at a bakers dozen is in need of prayers for her baby, Apollo. Apollo will have surgery tomorrow for a double aortic arch, this is a very necessary heart surgery and I know his family is ready for him to be well. He has been a sick baby for some time. Please pray that the surgeon's hands are steady and that God will allow Apollo's heart to be healed. He has 13 siblings and wonderful parents to be with him through this time.