Green Socks

These socks have been knit... I don't know how many times. The gauge advertised online when I bought turned out to NOT be the gauge that the yarn actually knit up to. So it turns out that I had much less yarn that I originally thought when I started knitting these socks. After numerous attempts at my usual top down sock pattern, I gave up and switched to a toe up pattern so I could actually have a whole foot.

Notice that the green stripes on the socks are reversed. This is a result of me starting the socks on different ends of the skein. I wish I could claim that I did it on purpose to give the socks a little character... but that would be a lie. I got fed up with the one sock and decided to just start knitting from the other ends and unravel my work as it knit it up again. Indecent, I know. Oh well.

Not my favourite pair of socks. But handknit socks are handknit socks and I'll still wear them. I'll wear them and think of the number of times I almost cut them into shreds...

Bridal Shower

My friend is getting married in May and this afternoon was her bridal shower! The theme was lingerie. So naturally, I decided to knit something a little naughty and a little nice.

Voila! Mon petit chou from Knitty.

I had to knit it rather quickly and was able to finish it in a week! That's quite a record for me! One minor complaint though. The pattern is mighty difficult to keep track of since every row is different and on the screen it's just a big jumble of letters and numbers. I know I should have printed it out and kept track on paper... but I'm cheap and want to save paper and ink (and the environment!)

I'm rather proud of the end result. (Especially since I was up early this morning putting finishing touches on it and I'm pretty sure it was still a little damp when I wrapped it up.) But I hope the bride to be will enjoy it!

Back from Africa

Since I graduated, my school has generously disabled my email account and along with it all of the images I had uploaded for my very academic blogging use. The unfortuate result is that I no longer have any of the images I used on this blog and so I decided on a redesign.

But because I'm really not that html/css savy, I just went with one of Blogger's tried and trusted pre-designed templates and attempted to modify it as much as I could to make it my very own. It's not ideal, true, but I've given up trying to make the computer do things that it obviously doesn't want to do... and it looks like I don't know the magic words. Oh well.

Alas! No fear! (I've always wanted to say "alas". But I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not using it right...) I do have knitting content in this post.

May I present Dashing from Knitty (link found in sidebar). Apparently, I have bad circulation. So when I sit in front of the computer for a long time (as I am oft prone to do), my hands turn into icicles. Especially my right hand. Probably because my left hand gets the pleasure of being tucked under my large bum for warmth while my right hand is left with working the mouse. Just a theory. Thus, my attempt to keep my hands warm:

The second one is half way done. No picture because it looks like the one above... except only half.

I've also had a lace shawl project going for a very long time (Candle Light Shawl from Knitpicks, link also in sidebar). It's only now just beyond the half way point so there's still lots to be done. Despite the lengthy process, I'm quite enjoying this knit. I'm excited to block it out and see it in all its glory finally. Two shots: one to actually see the thing and another one because I was trying to be artistic and obviously failed.

Village Life

Some pictures of knitting life in the village.

Rhoda learning to knit on my sock... yes that's the same sock from a couple of posts ago. Yes, I realize that was quite a few months back. My only excuse is that it's the other foot and I've had a lace project that I've been knitting on quite a bit.

Me with a bunch of kids from the village and Rhoda still holding the sock in the background.

Greetings from Kenya

Not sure if anyone reads this anymore since I haven't updated in a long time. I just wanted to share the news with the world that I have brought my knitting obsession to the rural villages of Kenya.

Yes, that's right. I am living and working in a rural village in Kenya, complete with mud huts, firewood cooking, dam water fetching, carrying stuff on heads, and no electricity. It is the quintessential African village.

But I brought my sock along for the ride because how could I go anywhere without something to knit on and now the teenage girls are just as obsessed as I am. Luckily for me, my office had a shopping bag of knitting supplies donated to them a little while ago that they had no idea what to do with. (Apparently, 20-something African men don't knit.) So I've taken it upon myself to teach the villagers how to knit.

This is a little bit of a paradox since it's a consistant 30+ degrees celcius in Kenya and I have a complex everytime I want to knit. Do I want to die from lack of knitting? Or do I want to die from excess heat from the wool? Regardless, the babies and children all wear knitwear and sometimes, when there's a nice cool breeze out, the adults wear knitwear as well.

So they're all into knitting and there's one lady in particular who is interested. She already crochets so knitting isn't that much of a stretch for her. My plan is to teach as many people as I can to knit and then hand the bag of knitting supplies over to this one lady and put her in charge of distributing it appropriately. Hopefully a village knitting committee will spring up and maybe they could sell their projects for extra income, or knit electricity lines or piped water or something.

Anyways, just wanted the world to know: knitting is now in rural Kenya. If I do nothing else in my time in Africa, at least I've done this much.

Socks, Again

Simple stripes in needles that are larger than my normal (ie. 2.75mm as opposed to 2.25mm).

I'm not certain that I like the result, although, the sock will definitely not be too small. In fact, it may be too large. I was actually aiming for 2.5mm needles but I can't seem to find them anywhere (this is a little misleading since I only looked in one place). Who would have guessed that 0.25mm would make such a big difference? Crazy!

There's a bit of extra fabric behind the ankle area. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not. While I'd rather not have extra fabric hanging around anywhere, my other socks were too tight around the ankle. So the extra-ness might help with the "I-need-10-min-to-pull-on-my-socks" problem. Or I might try go down some stitches to make up for the looser gauge.

Hey, I thought socks were supposed to be easy to knit. And after 5 pairs, who would think that I'm still messing with gauge? I still haven't found that "perfect" sock needle size to number of stitches formula. Argh.

In other news, I'm headed off on a 6 month contract job with Samaritan's Purse. I'll be roughing it in Africa while working on a water sanitation project. The next 6 months will consist of building sand filters and educating about community health and hygiene and HIV/AIDS. Blogging may be sporatic. Oh wait. Blogging is already sporatic. Sorry... Not even sure if I'll get much knitting time in. I'll try my best to keep you updated, though. Cross your fingers for me!

Until next March...

More Knitting, Finally

Here is a finished Sheer:

The Peruvian Baby Silk feels like heaven on my skin. Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn before I could finish the pattern. But the beauty of the pattern is you can get away with no knitting the whole thing. The only drawback is my cast off edge is too tight and I can't lift my arms past a few inches away from my sides. Oh well. I thought about ripping the bottom and casting off looser. Or I could just leave it as it is.

And I bought yarn! Sock yarn from Knitpicks because of my recent obsession with socks. Parade in Daffodil and Simple Stripes in Autumn.

I've cast on with slightly larger needles and now I'm paranoid that the sock is too large. Seems as if I'll never get it right...

I think the colour of Simple Strips is a little off. The "brown" colour is definitely much more purple, which makes the stripping look rather clownish. Now that I've knit with it, I don't think I like the colour very much. But I guess it's going to be on my feet and no one else is really going to see it, right?