Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bad Knitting Karma and a Belated Birthday Wish

So, I have a knitting dilemma.  I have finished one lace sock, and it looks good...except that it is rather big.  I knitted a swatch, I got gauge, I measured my foot, and chose the size that would give me a bit more than an inch negative ease, and, well, it's a bit big.
It fits, it just doesn't fit as snugly as you might wish a sock to fit.  I'm afraid it's going to bunch up in odd ways when I wear it with shoes.  And I ended up shortening both the foot and the toe from the recommended length, or it would have been even bigger!  And yes, I double checked on the stockinette sole, and I was at the right gauge.

So what do I do?  Do I knit the second sock the same, and have two socks too big?  Do I knit the second sock smaller (maybe go down a needle size, or knit the next size down in the pattern), and risk having something that's too small, and then also have to tear out and re-knit the first sock?
I'll admit to being a bit stumped on what to do next.  Suggestions?

In happier news, it was Elizabeth Zimmermann's birthday on Sunday.  For the non-knitters out there, Elizabeth Zimmermann was an extremely creative designer of knitting patterns.  Not just pretty stitches, but some pretty amazingly innovative ways to construct garments.  Exhibit A of her creativity is the Baby Surprise Jacket.
Yes, it's an amorphous blob.  I've heard this referred to as "the obligatory amoeba shot".

This is for my nephew, and no, on this one I did not knit a swatch and therefore this came out somewhat larger than planned, which I suppose for a baby beats it being smaller, eh?

(Why is it that when I check gauge, it comes out too big, and when I don't check gauge, it also comes out too big?  Something's wrong with this picture.)

But, you say, it doesn't look like a baby sweater!  And what's the "surprise" part of the title?

Ta dah!  Fold it right, and sew up the shoulder seams, and surprise!  It's a jacket!  (I have yet to actually sew it up and still need to get buttons, but I'm still charmed.)

Knitting this was actually really, really fun.  It's a bit of a scary pattern - it assumes some amount of knitting knowledge (not much, really), and you have to have a LOT of faith in Elizabeth, because, while you're knitting it?  It looks like the amorphous blob.  She actually says in her original instructions, "Work will start to look very odd indeed, but trust me and press on."

Indeed, if you follow the directions (I did watch portions of the available DVD just to clarify a couple of sections), and just trust her, you get a very charming little jacket.  Well worth the effort, and truly, I found it very fun to knit.  I would highly recommend it.

So, a success at Baby Surprise, and mixed on the lace socks.  What do you think, same again, smaller, ???  Help me out!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

So Much for Quiet

Really, it was getting a little TOO quiet with Rachel and William gone.  Don't know what I'm going to do when they're all off to college.

We picked them up from camp on Saturday.  Sunburned, sandy, and very happy.  Happy to have been at camp, and happy to be heading home.  They appear to both have had fun (except for the sunburns).  We've been prying out stories gradually, indulging them with junk food and soda (both were not fans of camp food), and allowing semi-unlimited video game play.

But tomorrow, ah, tomorrow it's back to a rudimentary routine.  School is 6 weeks away, and time is flying by.  There's still fun to be had, but it's time to inject a hint of discipline in our days.

Just a hint.  It is still summer.