Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Twisted Stitches and Peacocks

(Editorial Note: This is a Catch-Up Post that I had started but not posted from about, oh, 3 weeks ago!)

I tried to take some pretty pictures of my past Shedir-in-progress hat - - as after all one of my New Year's resolutions was to do a better job on the photo front in '07. Now granted, I'll never be as good as Mr. Brooklyntweed (nor will I ever be able to purchase a camera as expensive as the one he apparently owns and uses!) but still, I could most certainly improve from my more-typical "stuck wherever it happens to fall" type shot of the past. So I set up my 3/4 finished Shedir and started snapping away........and you know of course what immediately happened, don't you?
(You can see his little feet at the top of this particular pic. To say that he was a wee bit annoyed because I was taking pictures of something/someone other than HIM is a serious understatement! He kept putting his head in front of/behind my knitted object and saying !!!!CHEESE!!! while squinching his eyes completely shut and baring all of his teeth. His classic 'photogenic' smile of the moment............)

So anyway, this is the Shedir That Was. This particular hat is now long finished, washed, blocked, and gifted - and my friend said that her sister (34 years old, 3 weeks past brain surgery to remove a huge tumor plus one of her inner ears, currently residing in a nursing home where she will stay and recover for another 2-3 months) was thrilled with it. Didn't register what it was at first, but once S put it on her head for her and adjusted what little hair the surgeons left in a more normal style under/around the hat she said that she just BEAMED. And S, normally an extremely reticent sort of person, was actually so happy that she hugged me as thanks when she told me all of this. So most certainly worth ripping out several rows (several times, if truth be told!) to get the cables RIGHT.

I have moved on to my second Shedir - and am pleased to say that now that I totally 'get' the way that these cables work I no longer have to read the pattern - and as such the 5 main pattern repeats literally FLY by. I'm already to the decrease section after only 2-3 days of working on it.

Here is the one and only artsy shot of the second Shedir that came out barely decently enough to share - this one for a co-worker's mom who was diagnosed with liver cancer several months ago and is finishing up treatment and just now losing her hair...

I found out that 100% ktbl stitches is the only way to go on cables when it comes to my knitting - makes everything a zillion times more crisp & clean. Likewise I wish I had done the ktbl when I was doing the k1p1 ribbing - and I also wish (!) that I hadn't done the tubular cast on for it. While it looks LOVELY - and was a good thing to practice and learn how to do, it is a bit less stretchy than my normal Twisted German cast on and therefore isn't (I don't think) quite as good.

Happily enough my stepfather is going to benefit from all of these lessons - his hat is a Twisted German cast-on with 100% twisted stitches from the very get-go. Unhappily enough his first chemo treatment hasn't done what we had hoped & been told it would - and rather than significantly cutting the pain it has left him in even more pain with laryngitis and increased weight loss to boot - only 3 days after treatment. He goes in to see his doctors tomorrow and I'm hoping that they'll be able to admit him to the hospital to properly treat the pain - as the combined Vicodin and Morphene that he's currently on just isn't cutting it. Dark days indeed.

These socks were finished & gifted weeks ago - and the recipient (another Susan!) told me just last week that she is absolutely in love with them. Soft as soft can be (Emily's gift of Shaffer Anne didn't go to waste!) and warm warm warm - and with last week's temps of 8 and 10 degrees she needed warm feet! The pattern is one I made up myself - but please, I followed a basic sock pattern (64 sts) - did a feather & fan pattern down until they were anklet length - then did a basic eye of partridge heel flap, turned the heel, then picked up & decreased until I was back to 64 stitches. Then I did a.....oh, what is that called...............a toe where it decreases in a large spiral. I used the description from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks and followed it to the letter and just adored the way that it turned out.

A work in progress shot still on the needles...................

And a Finished Object! I adored the way that the decreases went when I decreased down from picking up stitches along the heel flap. Such a crisp clean diagonal edge!

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