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Socky pickchurs

Oh hey, remember me? Yeah, I'm pretty much still around and stuff. I know I said I had these picture-taking skills, but they're not as good as my other skills, like nunchucks or something. These guys wanted me to join their gang once. I'm pretty good with a bo-staff. But I guess I'm not so good at posting the pictures once I'm done with them. Gosh! Idiot!

Anyway, here's some pictures I made. They're probably the best I've ever done. The shading on the upper lip took me probably an hour.*
(As always, click on the pics for teh bigz.)

northern lights finished socks 2

See how there's a tight spiral on one sock, and a slow lumpy twist on the other? The cuffs of each sock did the opposite; tight spiral cuff = slow lumpy twist on foot, and slow lumpy twisty cuff = tight spiral on foot. Pretty cunning, isn't it?

northern lights finished socks 1

These pictures are pretty good on color. The color is the best part, honestly.

northern lights finished socks left instep

Left foot instep, there. Heel flap and shaping. Very nice. Plain heel, no fancy sturdy or eye-of-partridge stitches or any such thing.

I completely forgot to take pictures of the afghan I knit on the US 50 needles with the four-stranded Lion Brand Homespun. The reception was this weekend, and I barely had time to shove it into a pretty bag and write out the tag. I didn't even have time to de-hair it (my kitties sent along their best furry wishes too), which shames me to no end, and I really, really hope no one in the house is violently allergic to cats, dust, or general untidiness. So in that respect, I sucketh heartily. And yet the world moves on, somehow.

However, I did manage to snap a few low-light pics of the OSSP, the Hoover Baby Blanket in Encore. So, not a complete and utter failure, just partly.

Hoover blanket detail other side

One side is completely chocolate, but look at the needles! What is that I spy? Double-knitting, the slowest of all possible knitting techniques! (Possibly slower even than attempting to grow out your own hair, spin it, and knit it into a gansey. This is not a scientific fact, only a scientific suspicion.) That's how it seemed, at any rate, before and after I discovered I was with pod and then ripped it out.

Hoover blanket detail

And the other side! A swath of cream, comfy and pure against the chocolate. I have the technique down, but I don't think I'll be using it until I'm far more motivated than my first-trimester-can't-be-arsed-to-do-anything self currently is. Although I must admit, I did feel awfully brilliant carting it around and pulling it out for people to goggle at. I mean, I generally didn't even make it a whole row before I put it away again and slumped back in my seat to put all my energy into not being a mouth-breather, but you know...priorities.


In the meantime, some temptation in the form of sock yarn descended from Ye Olde Knitpicks, and I unhanked and balled it up with glee. I like looking at it. I like touching it. Again, however, can't be arsed to knit it up into something. Admittedly, I'm already in the middle of a pair of socks, and it would be terrible to abandon Nyte's Socks Of Ginormity so close to the heel turn, with so many projects already needing my attention. And they are indeed ginormous.

Example: When we went to Nyte's graduation, it was held at OSU's stadium. The one that holds over 100,000 people, I am told. We were far, far away. The only way we recognized Nyte in the black-gowned flood of graduates was his particular gait, and his great, big, white sneakers.

Proof:
Nyte Graduation 2007 standing in line

I wasn't kidding, was I? Size 14E feet are nothing to take lightly. And you know what they say about guys with big feet (wink wink, nudge nudge). **

Where were we? Oh yes! Sock yarn.

knitpicks sock yarn

Colors are Yukon (the blue and white), Cape Cod (navy/tan), Fly Fishing (green/blue/brown), and S'mores (brown/tan/white). Delish, kiddos. Delish.

But gasp! What is this? A ballwinder for my birthday? Oh darling, you shouldn't have! (You should have. I'm glad you listened to me.)

Yarny cakes and ball winder

Look at these lovely, stackable, tidy little yarny cakes! I am absurdly pleased and amused. I would venture to say my pleasedness is ludicrous for such a small toy, in the grand scheme of things. And yet, look at the Trekking XXL on the left, there! Tidy, orderly, ready to be center-pulled both cakes at one time, still connected on the outside in case the yarny division was unequal. No knots, no cutting, just orderly beauty. And just behind, the S'mores sock yarn in all its brown glory! And in front of that, the cream Encore, and behind both (and barely visible), the chocolate Encore! No more balls rolling around the living room (provoking kitty to kill) or off the shelves (where I keep it when I don't want kitty to kill), all colors displayed delightfully...so happy. I took a lot of pictures of the caked yarn, but they are gratuitous and kind of blurry.

Well. Okay, one more.

Yarny cakes

Ah. That does my little nauseated soul good.

Now, all this is not to say that I haven't been knitting at all. No, for there is still gaming on Sunday evening, and even I can't sit there idle for a whole six hours (something about the tv not being on makes a difference; these guys are not as entertaining, apparently). I actually made a Swiffer cover Sunday, and finished it Monday, I do believe.

I looked up the many, many ways a Swiffer cover can be made. These covers are much preferred over the little maxi-pads you have to buy each time you want to mop your floor, which are held on by Velcro strips. These things are expensive after a while, not to mention made of plastic and thus not at all biodegradable (last I checked, anyway). All the patterns highly recommend the use of cotton, since you'll be mopping your floor with it. However, there are a number of ways to go about the knitting (or crocheting) such a cover. You see, the cover has to somehow stay on the mop, and securely enough that the offending floor can be properly scrubbed.

Some patterns start with a simple rectangle in whatever pattern (the ballband dishcloth of Mason-Dixon fame is popular) one chooses, then pick up all the border stitches with a circular or double-points and knitting decreases at the corners, until you cover the whole back of the mop and cinch it shut around the mop handle with an i-cord drawstring. Secure, I think, but a whole lot of work and a whole lot of cotton.

Some patterns tell you to knit a rectangle several inches longer than your Swiffer, fold the excess ends over and sew them along the top and bottom, so that the sides of the mop can slip into the little pockets. If you measure your gauge and your Swiffer mop head accurately, and given cotton's penchant for shrinking slightly with each wash, it seems a fairly easy way to secure the cover.

HOWEVER. Cotton may shrink in the dryer, but when you get that baby wet it's going to stretch back out again, Jack. Not to mention you have to do some measuring and some swatching, and as per usual, I couldn't be arsed.

So, I cast on some stitches using Sugar & Creme kitchen cotton, using up my leftovers and oddballs. I knitted the ballband dishcloth pattern (reverse stockinette "bricks" should be keen for scrubbing, and the spaces can house hair and gunk) for...a while...a little while more...etc. Didn't measure my Swiffer. Was confident I could make it work.

Monday, decided to actually measure the blasted thing. (I'd run out of the little maxi-pad mopheads well over a week ago, and the kitchen floor was a sight.) My particular mop is 4.5x10.5 inches. My rectangle? 6.5x17-some inches.

...

Well. Okay then. Finished the pattern repeat, whipped up a 2-row garter-stitch border, bound off, and measured furiously. It's ridiculously big, but I fixed that. I wove in short pieces of cotton and braided them into ties, two on each side toward the middle of the rectangle, which shall tie around the mop handle and stabilize my creation.

...what?


...did you think I had pictures yet? Pffft.

And now, a parting thought:

Grove City taste 1

What the hell is this doing in my neighbor's yard, and what the hell is it for?

The world may never know. At least, I sure won't.






*Don't ask me why I seem to be channeling Napoleon Dynamite. I don't know any better than you do.
** They wear big shoes.