Moving Backward to Move Forward

Had a lovely knitout at Vivo City yesterday. Small group: Adrianne, Cindy, Lois and a new member Ingrid who is new to Singapore. She comes to us from Estonia by way of Italy. Not only is she an accomplished knitter, but she demonstrated her Gameboy skills as well, by helping her daughter on the tough levels.

Thanks to the knitting girls’ vast knowledge and assistance, I made a huge breakthrough which lead to the entire frogging of my basic sock.

First, Ingrid, with her keen eyes was able to count how many rows I had in the heel flap. I couldn’t count it. I needed 14. She counted around 30! So, that was ripped out. She showed me a nifty way to rip back using a small gauge dpn to prevent dropping stitches or getting them twisted. (She also taught me that the rogue purl stitch up in the body of the sock is a Design Element– not a mistake. I have a feeling that insight will prove helpful through the rest of my knitting life.)

As I began to reknit it, I commented that on the short rows, my knit stitches seemed to be flipped the wrong way. However, we decided I should trust the pattern so I knit on.

I made it to the heel turn and although it was turning, it didn’t look dense enough. And sure enough, I reached the end of the heel flap directions, but I still had stitches left over. Luckily, they helped me figure out that…

  • I was doing my ssp incorrectly so those rows weren’t decreasing.
  • I’m doing my purl stitches wrong which is why the knit stitches are twisted the wrong way.

And so, on the way home I ripped it all out. I could have just ripped back to the start of the heel flap again, but since the leg part of the sock is in a k2, p2 pattern, my incorrect purl stitches made the fabric different, too flimsy. Here is what my basic sock looks like now.

basic sock

Last night while taking part in an online professional development activity, I worked on my new traveling project, a spiral slipper. It is knit in a k3, p3 pattern. I didn’t rip it all out, just started purling correctly. I like the resulting new fabric much more. It is stiffer.

Funny that I had taken this project with a different yarn on holiday. I kept ripping it out. Finally decided the yarn was just wrong, too variegated for a spiral pattern. I had reached this same decision last summer with the same yarn. For some reason I thought it would work now. Go figure.

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I decided it would be a scarf for my cousin who is away at college in a cold place. However, I didn’t have large enough needles, so I put two sixes together to make a twelve. That doesn’t work terribly well, but it did work well enough for me to see that the yarn would work well for a scarf. That shows off the variegation rather than fights it.

And so I began the slippers for what truly must be the sixth time, but with a yarn from my stash. It is a funny yarn, blue with 2cm bits of red, orange, yellow and green. The yarn colors aren’t perfect for this project, the colored bits look like afterthoughts. Fortunately, there is enough solid for the spiral to show well, and I have decided that the bits of other colors look festive.

Still need to cast off the Dad scarf.

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And STILL need to finish the toe on the class sock. I brought it with me on holiday and sat down to finally learn the revised Kitchener stitch done with knitting needles, only to find I hadn’t printed out the last page of the directions. (I may have said a few inappropriate words at that point.)

So, I am back to the start of the basic sock, 25% done with this pair of spiral slippers, 99% done with the Dad scarf, and then I can start the variegated scarf for my cousin which which is waiting for those needles. Sounds like lots of WIPs, but I work on them in different places, so it’s not out of control yet.

A Wednesday Night Knitting Group

Just home from a lovely time with a Wednesday night knitting group that meets at a Panera restaurant. I greatly enjoyed my time with them. They welcomed me in and then kept up a steady stream of interesting talk while I tried to learn to knit two socks at once on two circular needles.

I’m loving the project and the yarn is super soft so it should make comfy socks. However, as this is very early on in my sock career, I may need to backtrack and work on just one sock at a time.

Louise taught me a truly cool way to start the sock from the toe. Knitting the sock on circulars feels so much more natural than those pesky DPNs which seem to encourage the yarn to leap off when I’m not watching. I can almost hear their taunting, “C’mmon! You can do it! Are you chicken or what? Just jump!”

Louise is a talented, patient teacher. She’s been teaching this process long enough that it only takes her a glance to identify my new mistake and tell me how to correct it.

All in all, a most satisfactory evening. (The evening began with a visit to another LYS. Won’t write about that until I have time to download my photos.)