Archive for June, 2006

Sock progress

June 30, 2006 Leave a comment

I made some.  Not enough to take a picture, since I’m actually not much past where I was yesterday, but still, some progress.

What I discovered was another way to rip.  I haven’t seen it anywhere else, but I’m assuming I reinvented the wheel anyway. 

Instead of inserting the needles into the loops , which seems to always result in dropped stitches and more rippage, I inserted them into the purls.  When it got too difficult to manipulate one needles, I used another, figuring I’d even out the stitches later.  Then I pulled on the yarn,and if I did everything right, I’d be left with an even row of stitches with no dropping.  And it worked – I did split yarn in a couple of places, and had to slip stitches back and forth on spare needles until I could get that top row free, and the stitches on the needles were every which way, and somewhere along the line, I seem to have increased from 64 to 67 stitches (actually, I know where), but it worked.  I had to decrease a bit to get 16st/needles, but that was easy, and a skill I needed, and I’d read Anna Zilboorg, so I knew what do to about the twisted stitches. 

Still have those short rows looming.

Categories: knitting

Diet from Hell (because I don’t just knit)

June 30, 2006 Leave a comment

I am not a vegan.  Nor am I a vegetarian – although I sometimes wonder.  Not that I want to be one, or that I eat a lot of meat-free meals, or anything.  I *like* meat, actually, and high protein meals seem to keep my blood sugar down, so so long as I keep the fat level down.   I’m not giving it up.

But everyone seems to think I’m a vegetarian.  Or assume I’m a vegetarian.  And they’ve done that for years, so it can’t be the scarves.So is this some sort of message?  If it is, I’m not listening.  My fingers are in my ears and I am humming.  So there.

This, however, doesn’t mean I want meat at every meal, or even every dinner.  That’s boring and heavy and, given that it has to be kosher, rather costly.  And a few years ago, my husband went on the diet from hell because we thought he had gout.  So I served nothing with purines – weekday dinners were either flounder or based on dairy products and eggs, because those were the source of proteins he was allowed.  He could also have sea bass.  He could not have beans or bean derivatives.  He could not have turkey or trout or salmon.  Red meat was right out.  I served things like home-fried potatoes and shredded cheese.

Shabbat dinner, for him, was a chicken thigh over rice.  White rice, not brown.  And that was his animal fleish for the week.  Shabbat lunch was a cold salad with cheese and nuts. 

I took to eating burgers out. 

We gained weight.  My cholesterol went up.  I was put on metfornim for the first time.  And it turned out he had bursitis, not gout, which was why the extreme diet didn’t work. 

And during that long, awful summer, I decided that if we ever could have a more or less normal diet again, I’d learn to cook vegetarian curries and tofu, because I missed them. 

I did take from that time two positives. One was the Shabbat lunch salads. These are lovely in the summer time – although I make them more often with chicken from the night before instead of cheese.  The other is that, if Jonathan was going to have one piece of chicken a week, it had to count.  So I began sliding pasts of herbs and spices and acids and oils under the skin, which created both a flavorful chicken and flavorful juices.  I still do that.

But I kept my promise to myself, and learned how to cook a tofu stirfry and vegetable curries, and we’re eating a lot more (brown basmati) rice.  I’

Categories: cooking

Backwards progress

June 29, 2006 1 comment

I thought I’d be posting a picture of a sock with a completed heel today.


I willconquer short rows. I will. Just, not last night. I had to rip them out completely.

So. Here is the sock as it stands.

Unheeled Socks

That was a job all by itself. I didn’t want to rip back the whole thing *again*, after all. So I went to the last row before the short rows (or hoped I did), opposite the needle holding the non-heel stitches (also a mistake. Next time, I’ll use waste yarn. The dpn just got in the way) and carefully inserted a dpn through all the stitches, trying to insure I got each tiny loop. That took several tries.

Then I ripped. And it was the wrong row, plus I’d chosen a dark one. I took out the other dpn, ripped down another row, and carefully and painstakingly inserted all the needles. And I mean all of them – rescuing the more than occasional dropped stitches meant inserting a spare needle into the next stitch over and using another to reknit. By the time I got to the last needle, I was using one of the metal ones to help out.

At this point, it was 1:28 AM, and that’s when I realized I could have waited until morning.

I think one of my problems with short rows is losing count. I’m not sure if I should use stitch markers, my stitch counter or just keep counting the live stitches.

Categories: knitting


June 28, 2006 Leave a comment

The current thing on the needles is a toe-up sock in a denim jacquard 4-ply wool/nylon sock yarn. I’m using 5 bamboo size 0 dpns, at a gauge of 8 st/inch. And I’m doing the short rows for the heel right now. (Pictures soon.)

This entire sock has been a learning experience, which is not a surprise, given it’s my first. I began it using 4 metal size 1 dpns, and every thing about them did not work.

I was impatient to begin, and my order hadn’t arrived, so I walked (about a mile) to my nearest yarn shop and bought stuff there. I liked the yarn a lot – it’s pretty blues and grays even on the ball, but the sweet old ladies in the shop weren’t carrying wooden needles – yet, had no size smaller than 1 and never actually heard of using 5 dpns. I also didn’t think I had enough cash on me and they weren’t set up for credit cards – yet. They said that both “yets” would happen the following week. So I got the yarn and the needles they had, walked half a block to a bank, got cash and walked back to pay for them.

Mostly, I wanted a portable project, as the scarf was completely unwieldly.

The first sock taught me how to do short rows, but also that metal needles are difficult to use, that four dpns are difficult to use and it’s hard to try the sock on and that I gauge is a tricky thing. The sock actually *shrank* – it fit me fine when it was only the toe, but the instep just didn’t work. Anyway, the proper sized dpns had arrived, so I ripped the entire sock back (I don’t think I’ll be comfortable using the term “frog” – it’s cute but rip means exactly the same thing.) and started again – this time on the correct gauge. Although, after two socks and two swatches, I decided that I was just going to bind that swatch off. The yarn was getting decidedly worn.

I’d also found out that I’d been knitting – not *wrong*, because there is no wrong way, but non-standard.

  1. I do knit “continental” – that’s how my mother taught me, with the yarn wrapped around my left forefinger.
  2. I also knit “combination” – this is a self-teaching thing, since my mother doesn’t knit that way. This means that, left to my own devices, I will knit through the back loop, and I will purl by wrapping the yarn under the needle. It’s simple and, to me, intuitive. Stockinette knit on straight needles comes out very flat. For that matter, the stockinette for my scarf looks perfectly flat, too.

My mom did teach me to knit through the front loop, and that was simple enough to relearn, but purling was much easier the other way. No wonder no one wants to purl!

I didn’t realize my purls were wrong, though. So the toe for sock attempt#2 is twisted on the knit row, and that is, actually, okay. I expect the first finished sock to be bad. And short rows are not my friends. Next pair, I’m going to try a no-wrapping technique. Meanwhile, I have a largish hole in the toe.

On the other hand – the sock fits. And I’ve relaxed quite a bit, and figured out the purling thing, more or less. And I’m getting bored enough with stockinette (four months on that scarf would do that) that I’m thinking of doing a simple 4×4 check for the leg of the socks. Which I might do combined. Since I just read Ann Zilboorg’s Knitting for Anarchists, which spoke to me strongly enough that I’m going to try doing what feels right to me.  So long as it also works, I mean.

I also read Debbie Stoller’s StitchNBitch and Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting without Tears, but I’m going to use the first one simply as reference and the other one is for the near future, not for now.

Categories: knitting

Finished Object – Ravenclaw scarf

June 28, 2006 Leave a comment

I finished my Ravenclaw scarf last week.

Categories: knitting