Monday, January 23, 2006

in which a variety

Well, I finished the first of the Oriel/Lorna's Laces socks, shown here stuffed and mounted on 'the knitter's chair'.

Things I have learnt - oriel sock

Variegated yarn and much stitch patterning really don't mix very well - both seem slightly diminished, and it seems more a marriage of convenience than one of true love.
Oriel is a nice enough lacy stitch pattern, but it does puff out somewhat fiercesome. Now I don't have the skinniest legs in the world, but nor do I have a chronic water retention problem - yet put an oriel on, and your ankles seem to swell. (Maybe if I had used a heel flap and gusset it wouldn't have pooched so much.)
Charlene Schurch's Oriel schematic is a 'generous' pattern - if you are knitting for a smaller foot circumference within a gauge band be prepared for a slightly looser fit.
Lorna's Laces shepherd sock, as a yarn, holds up well to mistreatment. I must have cast on and ripped 8 times before finally making up my mind - and the yarn showed virtually no sign of degradation.
Lorna's Laces shepherd sock seems a 'clean' yarn, but that lack of furze around the strand makes it more likely your holes, where no holes are meant to be, will show. The SSSPs and K3togs coming back up the short row heel are gappier than I would like, even if you make sure your yarn overs are tight, and you drop down to a size 2mm/US0 needle. (Speaking with vast (in)experience as a sock knitter - I've made a whole 4 and a half pairs so far, and I must be experienced, because I think I'm about to hit second sock syndrome - the Regia Silk sock yarn has that little bit of furze to it, which hides those holes better.)

Do I like the sock? It's okay, and I've learnt more through its making. Will I make the second sock? Well, yes, but maybe not right now, because I am in

...Olympic Training...

Training has begun, yarn chosen, swatches made, gauge is being calculated at this very moment, and charts are still in the mythical 'what if I try this' stage. Will I expire from all the excitement, and how many social engagements can I turn down during the K.O. MMIV? Does anybody have any ideas on how to explain to non-participants/non-knitters why you would just love to see them, and how it is wonderful of them to suggest that you all meet up in London for the weekend, do some shopping, catch some culture, eat a little, drink a little, before they fly back to Italy, but it's the Knitting Olympics, and you're just not sure that you have the time?

Oh, and to those absolutely fabulous knotty girls over at JenLa, thank you, thank you for the buttonmania you have created - you are welcome to come and ransack my home for anything your little warped hearts desire (just keep your Uncle Sam mits off my stash.) Just scooch your eyes on over to the side-bar, and you will see the little beauty they made for Team GB (and note, too, how they acknowledge the betterness of our disorganised team).

To all those nice people who have commented (not those nasty ones who try to sell me things, which is why I have gone all moderation for a while). Thank you. You make me go all warm and fuzzy inside. And you are teaching me to be a better blogger, and making me pay attention to the community that lives down my ADSL line. But I'm still not 100% there at getting back in touch with you to thank you personally (would you believe I get a little shy?), so I'll thank you publicly instead.

And finally, the 'Don't they grow up so fast' section.

Little Fran, pictured a month ago, who this weekend turned into a writhing, yowling mess of hormones. I've never seen a cat 'in heat' close up before, and it isn't pretty. She must be older than we thought (or else just very advanced for her age), as her op was scheduled for some time in February. It can't come too soon - the local toms are hovering, the cat flap is barricaded, we are tired of being presented with her bottom, and Susie and Sootie, resident spinster cats, are tired of being propositioned in their own home. Only last week Fran was playing hide the mouse, and now it is an entirely different mouse she wants to hide. (I'm really sorry for that last bit, but for a little cat she can make an awful lot of noise, and keep it up for a very long time - 4 hours of come-hither calling a night means I haven't had much sleep, and my judgment may have gone walkabouts.)

Right, back to the swatches.