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racing socks

slowly but steadily the mermaid socks are nearing completion. i'm halfway down the second leg now, top down. the recipient has small feet but i make the socks a size larger (about a cm) because her first pair from me suffered shrinking in the dryer. i do tend to knit socks too small, out of impatience.

i really should not do this anymore, commissioned knitting. yebo yes, i'm well aware i'm the one who didn't say no when she should have. i just think i'm still permitted to moan and miaow. it used to be fun to race against the clock, but i've lost all appetite in that sector. at least as far as socks are concerned.
(pms coming on nicely? yup!)


knitting for europe

we're all familiar with the yearly rallies: aid for africa, shelter for pakistan, boats for sri lanka, skating for kenya. today - we've been whale watching from a terrace in hermanus (not that we've seen any), eating bouillabaisse in kleinmond, applying suntan on reddened skin - we're touring a bit in a convertible mini. and we hear the news from europe.

yesterday we thought it was a freak storm that disabled daily life. today it seems you've skipped autumn and fell right into elfstedentocht conditions.
i'm knitting away in the hot sunshine, thinking of when you made fun of our chattering teeth a couple of months ago. i'm making a christmas present. and i feel like i'm knitting for europe.


hard work

have been working hard to whip the unruly thatching twine into a round knitted shape. nice exercise, even though it does look rather silly to get physically tired of knitting.

however, so far the result still looks more like a drunk spider than like a neat decoration that promotes knitting in unexpected ways. i think that for proper looking knitwork, the stitches have to sort of arrange themselves into a fabric. if they just stubbornly remain where you put them, it won't look like cohesion.

i'm pondering to start over again with a cheap cheap yarn and simply waterproof the result. that should enable it to stand the weather, i hope.
oh, the great colours i see in pure new wool, merino and whatnot. but they'd be wasted out there.


we call her doily

learnt a lot in the past couple of days, apart from swallowing my pride and ripping two days' work on the mermaid sock. in the more cheerful hours i found out that those [excuse me] anal little cloths are called doilies. and that they are, to be honest, quite interesting to create. it's just the connotation of the end result that puts me off; on close scrutiny the work itself seems kinda fun.

like pattern collector nurhanne mentions on her website: she started making one for fun, fully expecting that she'd never make one ever again... and got hooked.

anyway, i found a pattern to my liking and have started to do some muscle exercise. boy, is thatching twine obnoxious!


haste makes waste

grmbl. see what happens when you have to go for the destination instead of the trip. like i moaned about before, i'm trying to knit a pair of socks in minus one week time. it's a request for a dear person and they twisted my arm. apparently i need that arm for proper thinking. because it wasn't until i'm halfway the toe that it dawned on me something was wrong. being that the front foot has 32 stitches and the back foot 36.

it's because the front foot has a pattern, you see. that's why i never counted the entire number. i just checked whether each repetition still had all it's stitches. it wasn't until halfway down the toe, when i couldn't quite see if the next row was a decrease row, that i had to count to find out.

now that i write this down i see this discovery in it's magnitude. no fiddlin', no hidin'. i acknowledge the task ahead. it includes frogs. and the bullfrogs outside mock me loudly.


spare wheel

my new car has new tyres as well. they're a bit larger than the originals, so the standard wheel cover did not fit the spare wheel on the back. however, these things need to be protected from wear. this, of course, is an open invitation for a knitter.

in between chores i've been pondering the possibilities. what i'd like most is to knit something out of so-called ski rope, a nylon rope meant to pull water skiers. but my yarn need not pull anyone, it need not be so tough and hopefully that enables me to find something cheaper.

yesterday i found thatching twine. perfect for the job, but the colours aren't half as bright as the ski rope. mix mix, think think. i bought a cone of black. and a length of orange and white ski rope. now for a nice lacey pattern... antimacassar anyone?


squeak

as if i hadn't just finished a couple of time-pressured projects i started on a christmas present for one of my dearest friends, as requested by her wife. a fresh pair of socks to keep her feet warm after hospitalization. i'm making the mermaid variety, which is a simple yet effective pattern that winds along the leg diagonally.but of course i went off way too fiercely. now i'm trying to taper down a bit, because my shoulders are stuck and my elbow tells me he remembers well what times were like when rsi was his concubine. ouch!


the return of the celtic cable

by the way... a couple of days ago i put my celtic sock pattern back up (see right column). only in dutch for now, because i keep putting off translating it. however, in the meantime i've gained permission from girlfromauntie herself to use her cable pattern for this sock, which had been my main obstacle for publishing it.
so who knows, the translation and brushing up of the pattern might be just around the corner!


picking up threads

in the wake of all these good intentions i have now finally picked up the second victim for the chutes and ladders sock. man, was i fed up with that one. but i do want to wear them, the yarn has a very nice feel and the sock looks good.

it was my first ever upside down sock. it must have been the endless meddling with the undocumented self-invented heel that got me negative about these socks. i really really hate frogging and i ripped out that one thrice. i had to, as i severely underestimated the amount of centimeters that this heel adds to the foot length.

as was predictable, now i'm having a hard time figuring out what i did four months ago (what! four months already? man, how time flies). thank heavens the pattern is easily countable, so now at least i could calculate how many stitches to acquire from the toe up.

still, even while mumbling and grumbling it seemed to impress some people at the hairdresser's yesterday afternoon. which i find quite embarrassing, getting compliments while you're messing up. luckily i could show the other sock off to prove it should really get somewhere...


winter-sss

so here they are. nico's self striping winter socks, on top of the airco. he'll need them in january, on his next trip to europe.

special note for arja: they are alike! sheer coincidence from my side, of course, because i like my socks similar but not mirror imaged.


raaah!

sss used to be my abbreviation for self striping sock. but to my surprise even i can suffer from the infamous second sock syndrome. i thought i had the perfect trick by always starting the second one right away, lest i forget what the bleep i had been making up while making the first one.

maybe it's because i had been trying so hard on this one, i don't know. but after my failed record attempt two weeks ago it really took me a lot of intermediate different projects before i had the courage to pick up nico's winter sss again. it's a nice sock too, i'm not even fed up with the yarn or anything.

blunt persistence kept me going. raaah! so after starting yesterday evening i knitted the remaining 80% of the second sock almost in one go. which means that i am now Done. phew.


4x4

off to the 4x4 club. they start club day with a lecture, so lots of knitting to be done. for me it's my first visit. so i wonder what image i'll get across... i'm afraid it won't neccessarily be hip and contemporary. if my prejudice is worth anything i'll be labeled as the good housewife. ah well.


bear at work

yeah, better pictures have been made in the history of photography. but you do have an idea of what it was like for blue bubby, on his first day at work.

his sea colours (regia 83) look marvellous in the blue car.


marbles

blue bubby is done. as of tomorrow he'll protect husband and his car.

to be honest it gets quite boring to tinker with minimal amounts of stitches on dpns. but this time i defy the motto of the amsterdam snb. as far as any following bubby goes, i'm going for result instead of the joy of the process. to paraphrase a dutch saying: it's the marbles that count here, not the game.


frog bear

traffic light bubby turns out to be an obnoxious little fella. we went off in a wheeze and his body and head were done in no time. i was in a bit of a hurry too - he is to decorate the mirror of my shiny new car, so he should be there right from the start - but while weaving in the ends i thought his head was really ugly.

that also had to do with neglecting instructions and doing the increases on the left side instead of right. that wasn't so bad in itself, it even looked quite good. but then i had to do the decreases on the right instead of the left. and somehow miraculously that came out awful.
so now, bubby's a frog. rippit!