Friday, May 01, 2009

Catching up

Over at Knit 'n Chat (Delphi forums), one of the ladies organized a knit-along of the Great American Aran Afghan. Since I was starting a knit-along at the store, I signed up. Was going great guns, in fact. Then somewhere last fall I bogged down. I'm not sure why ... that's not correct. I know why. On-line, the ladies selected two squares that I had already done. Since I didn't need to hurry and push myself, I kind of ... slacked off. That was August. Since then, the group has knit up 7 more squares ... of which I already had two. You do the math -- I don't want to admit how far behind I am.

In any event, I decided it was time to buckle down and get busy. For your viewing pleasure, I present:

On the left is the Berztiss square, directions on page 48. It was a fun knit, presenting no real problems. The four-stitch decreases were interesting; if you followed the directions one step at a time, the instructions were spot on.

On the right is the Martin square, directions on page 36. There are three charts to this square: chart A provides the cabled rope; chart B is the fishing net; and chartC is the fish. I don't mind having multiple charts; in fact, having multiple charts can make knitting the squares easier. The problem is when the designer (or editor of the book) tries to cheap out on the charts. For instance, in this square the directions state "knit 19 stitches in pattern established ..." OK, fine. That means the 3-stitch garter border, the 6 stitches for chart A and the 14 stitches from Chart B, followed by chart C, B and A, and the border. Uh, no. What that really means is the border, chart A and part of chart B ... all of chart C ... part of chart B, chart A and then the border. Deciding where to end in Chart B was no problem; after all, 10 stitches is 10 stitches. Unfortunately, it took several tries to figure out where to restart the pattern in chart B at the conclusion of chart C. I may be slow to figure these things out ... but I may also have a point that the designer/editor could've and should've included those first and last 10 stitches with chart C and made everyone's lives a little easier.

You know the worst part of it? Several customers have come in and looked at the square and commented how cool it is that there's a pineapple square for the afghan.

In other knitting, I have finished yet another pair of socks destined for someone's holiday stocking. This particular pair has a seed-stitch rib for the leg portion, which made the project more interesting than a plain stockinette stitch leg. You know what is really, really cool though? These are identical socks. Without any attempt on my part to make them so. They just turned out identical.

Go ahead. Admire the awesomeness that is my first (and only) pair of identical, self-patterning socks. I still am, and they've been off the needles for a couple of days now.

The yarn is Super Soxx, colour no. 630.0057. I purchased it at the 2008 Knitter's Frolic for half price, possibly because it was being discontinued? Does anyone know if this yarn is still available? It is really nice sock yarn. The colours are gorgeous, and right now I have several potential giftees making a pitch for ownership.

Speaking of the Knitter's Frolic ... the 2009 Frolic occurred this past weekend. Four carloads of knitters from my shop made it the Frolic. A good time was had by all, some goodies purchased (I only bought one skein of Noro sock yarn #S217 and a skein of Misti Alpaca Suri Silk, to match a left-over skein of #SP08 in my stash), and lots of fondling was performed. Shown here is one chance encounter of two of the carloads:

Dorothy, Cathy, Dot, Barb, Sharon and Linda. I, of course, am taking the photo ... and Irene was too busy at the Indigo Moon booth for the photo. Also seen at the Frolic but not photographed were Sue, Pat and Christine. (Hi ladies!)

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