Saturday, May 09, 2009

One Sock Done

Finally, something accomplished (knitting-wise)! I've been so distracted by hexagons and DD's quilt blocks, that knitting has been somewhat neglected...along with house-work and other "chores". But I did finish the first Dusk sock, see?
The toe construction on this pair of socks is "Judy's Magic Cast-On" and is a stockinette type toe...but when I got to the heel, I did a garter stitch "Priscilla Gibson-Roberts" heel. (If you're not familiar with PGR, just google her - there are several good tutorials regarding her heel and toe technique - the only change I make for my garter stitch adaptation is that when I turn my sock to work the next row of the heel/toe, I knit the stitches instead of purl them.) Next pair of socks I'm going to use Judy's cast-on method again, but am going to try changing it up to garter stitch. Maybe the anticipation of trying that modified start-up will encourage me to get this second sock done. (I'm especially prone to second-sock syndrome!)

And I've made some progress on the Orenberg scarf. I've learned something about knitting lace with lace-weight yarn - USE LIFELINES! Before I began using lifelines, my biggest problem with this lace-weight was that when I made a mistake and attempted to frog back to fix it, I ended up creating more problems than I was trying to fix, and got into such a muddle that I always had to rip back to ground zero. Now that I've finally embraced lifelines, the most I have to rip back is just a few rows. One of my AHA! moments with lifelines was when I switched from regular straight needles to a circular needle...I could not insert a lifeline to save my soul when using regular needles! But with circs, you just slide all the live stitches onto the cable and it's easy to thread the lifeline through those stitches because they're loose.

So... if you're struggling with lace and you're knitting with regular straight needles, switch to a circular needle. To insert a lifeline, thread a blunt-tipped tapestry needle with pearl cotton or a heavy crochet thread, slide your stitches to the cable part of your circular needle, and thread your lifeline through the stitches, leaving a generous tail on both sides of the live stitches. Then, when you have knit the next few rows and are ready to create the next lifeline, just pull out your former lifeline and re-do in the current row. (I actually keep two lifelines - I'm so paranoid! - so I remove the oldest lifeline to thread through the "new" row.) Also, be sure to mark (on your chart) which row you've used for the lifeline. That way, if you have to rip back, you'll know right where you are.
Just umpty-jillion pattern repeats to go...

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