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I knit some socks.

It seems that entering my ninth month of pregnancy has sapped most of my energy, creativity, and general brain power. J really hopes that pregnancy brain reverses itself shortly after having the kid; he’s starting to worry.

So that explains the decidedly lackluster post title, but it is no way a reflection upon how I feel about these socks. I love them. The purple is so purple, the green is so green and together they make my heart sing.

The colorway is called “Crocuses”, and that’s exactly what they remind me of.

Pattern: Diamonds in the Fluff by Leslie Comstock

Yarn: A Million Stars Oenone in Crocuses

Needles: US1.5/2.5mm

According to my Ravelry project page, these took me exactly three months. I think it’s worth noting, however, that this was the first time I didn’t immediately cast on the second sock after finishing the first. Consequently, it took me almost a month to do so. I think I can count this as my first, albeit mild, bout of second sock syndrome.

I do believe this is the second-longest-to-knit pair of socks I’ve done yet. The winner of that dubious honor, J’s last pair of socks, had nothing to do with SSS and everything to do with first-trimester pregnancy. Ah well, with a little one on the way I feel certain that WIPs will be languishing left and right going forward…

Have I mentioned that I love everything about these socks? The pooling in the feet doesn’t even bother me too much. The pattern was fun and engaging without requiring too much brain power – just what I needed.

Now that I’m thinking about it, another reason these took me so long was because I essentially knit 2.5 of these socks. I originally cast on the smallest size, since the stitch count was close to my usual. I failed to take into account the decreased stretch in slip-stitch patterns, and after I had turned the heel and tried it on I realized it was too tight.

Normally I would have chucked the yarn into the farthest corner of my stash, or at least switched to a different pattern, but I liked the combo of this yarn with this pattern so much that I decided it would be worth starting over. So I did, in the middle size.

I’ve packed these socks to take with me to the hospital. J will be given strict instructions to either remind me to take them off or else take them off himself if I’m not able to when things really get underway.

I want pretty socks to wear while I’m in the hospital, but I don’t want to risk ruining them the first time I’m wearing them!

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Out of Order/Sorts

There aren’t too many hard and fast knitting “rules” that I subscribe to. I’m hard-pressed to think of any that I follow faithfully every time. Even swatching is hit or miss; I typically don’t bother for anything other than sweater projects and I can think of a couple where I didn’t even bother (with the expected results, naturally).

So I’m not sure why it tickles me so much that I tossed convention aside and am knitting this baby cardigan in whatever order strikes my fancy.

I knit on the button bands, sewed on the buttons, and even started weaving in ends – all before I started the first sleeve. It’s actually kind of nice. I don’t have bits of sweater flopping around, since I just keep it buttoned up.

The bottom hem is bugging me though. I bound off loosely as I usually do and as convention often dictates, but since I made some slight modifications regarding needles size, it’s a bit flare-y. I’m going to rip back the cast off and try it again tighter. If that doesn’t work, I’ll rip back the garter band altogether and go down a couple needle sizes which is more in keeping with the pattern.

But since this is intended to be a next winter sweater for the little dude, and I’m in no great hurry to get it finished, I’m going to work on this long cast aside project:

For a couple days, at least.

I took this photo last year; on 12/4/11 to be exact. It’s come a bit farther since then, but not much. I typically work on it a few days in between big projects, or when I’m feeling out of sorts and restless with my knitting or other things.

As the countdown to D-Day (Delivery Day) has commenced, it’s safe to say I’m feeling both out of sorts and restless with life in general.

A Re-Entry of Sorts

In what seems to be an unfortunately recurring theme on this blog, I’m back (I think. Pretty sure I am.).

Looking back through the post history, though, it seems like the gaps lasted 2-3 months, never almost 7. I do feel I have a reasonable excuse for this most recent disappearing act:

My best WIP yet!

I’m closing in on my 9th month of pregnancy – next Friday will be exactly 36 weeks. There are times when I can’t believe how quickly the time has gone. And then, more and more lately, it feels like it will be another 9 years before we will finally get to meet our son. Seriously, it feels like this last month is going to last forever…I hear that’s common.

My estimated due date is October 12th, and I’ve maintained throughout my pregnancy that I want an October baby. J thinks he’ll be an early baby rather than a late one or even an on-time one. Like mid-September early, which freaked me out when he told me that for the first time last month. I’m coming around to the end of September being ok (but October 1st would be better).

To catch-up on other major life events, this July was a month of a couple highs and a very low low. I finally finished the degree I’ve been working on and off (a lot of off) on for several years. I was promoted at work, which was very gratifying and almost felt like as big an accomplishment as the degree.

Then towards the end of the month, we had to put our beloved dog, Charlie, down.

It was definitely the right decision, and in his best interest, but it was still incredibly hard. We were both there the day Charlie was born, just over 15 years ago. J picked him out on that first day, the pudgiest and darkest-colored pup in the litter, and took him home as soon as Charlie was old enough.  He was the first dog J and I shared. He saw us into our first apartment together, and into our first house. I wish he could be here to welcome our first child. He will be much loved and remembered always.

In knitting news, there has been a flurry of baby knitting. I’m sure this surprises no one. Most recently, another baby hat.

Pattern: Aviatrix by Justine Turner

Yarn: Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Alpaca Love in 3350 Espresso Bean and 3520 Peacock Feather

Needles: US7/4.5mm and US9/5.5mm

The only modification I made was the contrasting ribbing and strap. J thought it looked like a little girl’s hat while I was working, but I told him I think it’s adorable and that he is crazy. This knit up super fast – I finished it in a day (minus the sewing on of the button). I knit the newborn size, and it seems slightly big but I’m okay with that. Babies grow, I hear tell.

In lieu of a baby to model it on, I swiped a stuffed monkey instead. Not the best model, I admit. His noggin definitely doesn’t fill out the hat at all. But he’ll do for another month or so.

This little monkey was the star of my baby shower. My best friend created a diaper bike (instead of a diaper cake) as a nod to J, who is an avid trail rider, and this guy was the cyclist. Yes, I know. My best friend is fabulous!

Show me your teeth.

The Hitchhiker has long since been finished. Before the Rainbow Socks, even. I could have made it much longer, but I liked the idea of stopping at 42 teeth. And let’s face it, I was over the garter stitch by that point anyway.

Pattern: Hitchhiker by Martina Behm

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Sock in 800 Tiziano Red

Needles: US4/3.5mm

I almost wish I had just sucked it up and made it longer/wider, but I think I will use it enough as is. And that’s pretty much all I have to say about that. No modifications. I probably would make another, but likely in a variegated yarn to give it more interest.

Pocketful of Sunshine

More like a shoeful of rainbows.

I did take baby steps, not miniscule ones; these have been finished for almost two weeks. There have just been quite a few things happening these last couple weeks here at Chez Knitastic. Good things. Fantastic things, even. But they mean that I only just got around to snapping some sock pictures this past weekend, in the midst of our first (and hopefully last) real snow of the winter.

Pattern: 72-stitch stockinette sock with Star Toe and (afterthought) Heel

Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in Rainbow

Needles: US1/2.25mm

I was worried about cutting my knitting, but it was really more of a snip than a cut.

Still, I feel like it’s a good first step in the general direction of steeking a sweater. I’ll get there someday.

It was smooth sailing from that point. I’ve done a couple other afterthought heels using a Wedge Heel since that is my go-to toe, but I decided to try a Star Toe with these, and knew I would hate the socks if I didn’t do a matching heel.

I know it looks like it should be uncomfortable, but it fits great on my heel and I don’t feel the decreases at all.

I think I prefer it to the Wedge Heel, actually, plus I like the look better. Initially I felt that the Star Toe was a bit roomy but I’m coming around to it. I may not use it again on “regular” socks, but I definitely will for self-striping ones.

I really wanted to have matching stripes, so I measured out where I started each time so I could get as close as I could. I think I ended up being only a row or two off. I’ll take it.

Baby Steps

This will be the first time I take scissors to my knitting. I’m taking it slow.

Simple Knitting

My knitting has taken on a decidedly simplistic bent these days.

I recently cast on two projects in a fit of start-itis, and both are very soothing, very simple knits. It began with a Hitchhiker, inspired by one of the ladies at knit night a couple weeks ago. It wasn’t until I saw one in person that I understood the appeal and wanted to cast one on for myself.

I followed that four days later with a Sockhead Hat.

The striped socks just need their (plain) heels knit in, and even the re-started disappearing sock is a simple garter rib.

As wonderfully soothing as I find these projects, in the mornings and afternoons I find myself mentally casting on much more thoughtful projects. Things like cabled pullovers and cardigans, and beaded lace shawls that my fingers positively itch to cast on for.

But when I get home in the evenings, with the sun already mostly gone and dinner needing to be cooked and the invariable pile of laundry waiting to be done (how can two grown people generate so much laundry, I ask you?), I reach for one of these projects, that I can just pick up and go on without even a second thought.

I know I will eventually swatch for those sweaters, and learn how to add beads to my lace, but for now all I want is the simple knit stitch, whether it is back-and-forth or round-and-round or even broken up every other row with some purls. And to maybe just dream of the more complex projects that I will start when the days get longer and brighter.

I wonder if this is a knitter’s form of hibernation?