Wednesday, May 23, 2007

On a Lack of Willpower

Really, now, is anyone surprised?

I've done shockingly little work on Icarus. Why, you might ask? Indeed, as I had previously forecasted, my Sockpal yarn arrived Monday afternoon once I was home, and as soon as I ripped open the package from Jessie I was Completely And Totally S-U-N-K.

I stayed up Monday night until 2 AM fiddling with gauge swatches (washed & dried with the greatest of ease - came out even softer after than it did before!) trying to figure out how to make everything match up. For example, these were some of the facts on which I was cogitating:

* the pattern is for a 19.5" sock. I want to knit a 16" sock.

* the pattern starts out at the thigh with a 12" diameter. My Pal's calves are 16".

* if I up the number of beginning stitches accordingly, you all know that I have no idea how to decrease them properly so that it doesn't look like a dog's dinner in the end, right?

So what I decided was that - like Emily - I was not doing this sock toe up. While Wendy can do so with the Greatest of Ease I need to try out a toe-up on a very basic sock - not on something like this. Happily I know exactly what yarn I'm going to use for such a thing when I finally get the chance. So while I'm being a chicken, at least I'm only being a chicken temporarily which makes me feel a bit less ashamed to admit it publicly.

I also decided that rather than add in extra stitches, I'm going to try a technique I first heard mentioned on Cast-On - - while I got gauge with size 2 needles, I'm going to knit the first several inches of the sock on size 3s - automatically making the sock bigger than it is 'supposed' to be. Then after a few repeats of the lace panel I'll switch down to size 2 needles and will be back on track while not having to do any fudgy maths work. Apparently this is what someone did in a Knitty pattern and it was all the buzz for a bit. So far it is working swimmingly......................

Here you can see the lovely shade of the SockPal Pink that Jessie created for me and my Pal - even sprinkled amongst the peonies - for like I said earlier - it is a lovely sort of peony pink, isn't it??

Accordingly, I am three and a half lace panel repeats into the sock. I am only on Row 8 of the fourth chart for Icarus. I took a look at the chart and realize that not only was it 25 or so rows, but that as after that there were a good 5 or 6 written-out rows to knit PLUS the final cast-off - - and that I just wasn't going to make it. And that I could stress over it or I could just face facts and ease up considerably and keep enjoying my knitting and alternate Icarus with the SP socks. So now this is my deal - for every lace panel repeat I do, I have to do a full pattern row and a purl-ish back row on Icarus. That way everything stays balanced.

So I am content. I will doubtless not win the race between Sandy and myself, but I am content.

The Munchkin and I leave for Florida tomorrow AM at a disgustingly early hour (makes for a lovely arrival time of 11;30 AM, tho'!) and I will not be bringing my SP socks, as they take a bit of attention. Instead I will be bringing Icarus and Jay's screw-y socks - one knit that I have not yet posted much about. As the pair will almost certainly be finished once I'm back, I'll post about them then. Also I figure I'll be able to get a decent amount done on Icarus, as the Munch goes to bed around 9 PM every night and I'll be sitting w/ him in a studio apartment as he sleeps every night with nothing but quiet knitting time in front of me. I'm bringing my iPod with me loaded with a few new Librivox tales for company! While I will probably not post while gone, you'll most certainly see a few headless shots of various family members of mine posing on the beach once I return...


Sandy said...

Oooh, take me on vacation with you! Lounging on the beach sounds just fabulous. :) Enjoy!

I love love love the socks you're knitting. They're just beautiful. I'll get back to my very neglected pair sometime next week...I might need to boycott knitting for a bit after the last month or so.

I've been a knitting *machine* lately and am up to row 20 on Chart 4. I hope to finish the chart tonight and maybe even move on to the edging. I really am on a mission to bind off on Icarus by bedtime on Friday in order to be able to enjoy the weekend and block it first thing Monday.

Explaining the need to block lace has proven quite the challenge with every non-knitter I've encountered lately and I'll be happy to be working on something that doesn't look like a giant blob, at least for a while. ;)

Emily said...

Oooh Florida! If it wasn't such a big state I'd say we'd be right next door.

Pretty clever adjusting gauge to change the width of the sock! And that pink is a wonderful Peony pink, perfect for a sock pal.

jessie said...

Yay, I'm so glad you like the yarn. I can't wait to see how the finished socks come out.

Have a great vacation.

mel said...

That is some lovely sock pal yarn - I love her site; will have to try out her yarn at some point.

Have a safe & fun trip!!