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Archive for May, 2008

OK, so, still alive in this Sock Wars thing. I received the SIP (sock-in-progress) from my target in Friday’s mail and have been working on it in small chunks between the small chunks of weaving I’m working on (the weaving is on a real deadline). I thought I would get a lot done since Yarns R Us is closed this weekend… unfortunately, I got totally sucked into reading forums on Ravelry and making numerous futile attempts to download the newest Lime & Violet podcast yesterday and didn’t get as far along on either the weaving or the sock as I would have liked. Thank God for a three-day weekend, woohoo!

This will be a busy week, knitting and weaving aside. This Friday and Saturday is Relay For Life, and after that maybe I can come up for air!

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Note: I wrote this on Sunday, May 18 and waited to publish it until my Sock Wars target, Mary (aka Seussy), received her package (aka “deadly sock bomb”).

Well, so far, I am still alive and kicking in Sock Wars III. I finished my original pair of socks on Saturday afternoon, and have carefully packed them to mail to my target (Seussy) on Monday. Then I shall await the arrival of Seussy’s unfinished socks, which I am to finish up and send on to her target — unless I get killed off by my assassin’s socks first (if that happens, I then mail Seussy’s unfinished socks to my assassin to finish for Seussy’s original target — are you confused yet?). My assassin (Caitiedid) has been silent through the entire process, so I have no idea how far along she is with her socks. However, checking back on Saturday through the list of participants and who is listed as alive or dead on the Sock Wars site, there was a string of at least 9 or 10 assassins behind me (that is, I’m downstream of them and they are aiming in my direction) that are still listed as alive.

There seems to be a difference of opinion among the ranks as to how Sock Wars is to be handled — the protocol of International Sockicide. There are some who take it very seriously and say things like, “This is war, not a swap!” Then there are others who praise Sock Wars for introducing them to new knitting friends. My take on it is that of a friendly competition. Sure, I wanted to get my socks finished as soon as possible so that I could advance in the game, but I didn’t want to do the stealthy, stalking, tactical thing. I kept quiet about my progress while working on the sock, and once finished, packaged them nicely and let my target know the socks were on their way.

Some sock warriors had great fun packing up their killer socks — the Mola(Toe)v Socktail, for example. Very clever and creative! I did a typical package with the socks, a sympathy card, and some little gifty items (assorted teas and a jar of hand cream, along with the leftover yarn). Some sock warriors included gifts of candy, beaded stitch markers, knitting-themed pins, etc. in their packages. Go ahead and click the photo to the left if you’d like to take a closer look.

I chose to use TOFUtsies sock yarn — first of all, because in order to be eligible for the grand prize of a 60 balls of TOFUtsies (one in each color it comes in), that is what you had to use for your original socks. And since my target didn’t have any reported fiber allergies (in addition to wool, soy fiber, and cotton, the yarn contains a small amount of ground-up shrimp and crab shells which have antibacterial properties) and I had never used the yarn before, I went for it.

Although it’s not over yet, I’ll say at this point that I’m glad I at least tried Sock Wars. I don’t think I’ll do it again, though, for the same reason I originally had decided I was not going to participate (before I caved to my knitting buddies’ peer pressure, LOL) — when I have to knit socks using a pattern dictated by someone else, during a specific time (and if I want to stay alive in the game I MUST. KNIT. NOW.), and in order to stay in the game I need to keep knitting more and more socks before my assassin finishes theirs and sends them to me, it makes me want to not knit socks. Especially not more socks in the exact same pattern that I just finished knitting. Now, I don’t necessarily mind knitting the same pattern twice, especially if it’s one I like. I just don’t want to do it right away, over and over and over again. It makes me want to cast on a baby sweater for my nephew — or just anything else besides knitting these same @#$% socks all over again.

That reminds me…I have a weaving project to work on. Hey, it’s not socks! Better get on that now. 🙂

Edit 5/21 – Seussy received her socks on 5/20 and has kindly shared some modeled shots as well.

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Since I picked up with knitting again at the end of December, my workouts — which had already been suffering since Thanksgiving due to working on weaving projects and general slackerness — have been way too few and much too far between. In fact, pretty much my only workouts since November 24 have been a handful of walks outdoors. I haven’t even taken the bike out of the shed for a ride yet this spring. As of this date a year ago, I had already logged nearly 160 miles on the bicycle since the beginning of spring. Truly pathetic. And when I don’t work out, I end up getting all sorts of weird-ass aches and pains. So I’m at the point where something has to give. I need to make room in my schedule for workout time, and I know that’s going to involve taking away some knitting time. But today I found a way to combine the two a little bit:

Yup, that’s me knitting on the treadmill. No kidding. What, you can’t tell I’m knitting? Check out the close-up. Now, granted, it’s no killer workout (barring a fatal freak knitting-needle accident, that is) considering I was walking at less than half of my normal walking pace (1.5mph instead of 3.75mph). But I figure even walking that slowly is better than parking my ass on the recliner with my feet up. And what I need right now, after nearly 6 months of next to no workouts, is something to ease me back in gently. I definitely won’t be back to running until later in the summer.

Oh, and just so you know, I’m not the only wacko knitting (or otherwise multitasking) on a treadmill. Go ahead and google “treadmill knitting” and/or “treadmill workstation” and you’ll find all sorts of crazy stuff!

In other knitting news, Sock Wars is in full swing. I got my target info last Friday afternoon. I had gotten a good 2.5″ done on the first sock that same night, but ended up frogging the whole thing by midnight because I thought it looked wrong. I restarted last Saturday morning and it looked right — although in hindsight I think it probably wasn’t wrong when I frogged it anyway. I don’t want to give too much away in case either my target or my assassin happens to be reading this…but I will say that I am not finished yet. I can’t believe there were people who actually had their socks finished the next day. They must have stayed up all night or something — and even doing that, they’d still have to be pretty fast knitters to finish a pair of socks in 24 to 36 hours. (I mean really, I do have a life. I enjoy knitting, but it’s not an extreme endurance sport for me!)

Just a little followup from the last post — the footies were a gift for my Mom for Mother’s Day. She loved them, and is hoping they fit into her golfing shoes. I’m so happy she’s back to golfing this year, since she didn’t feel up to it last year due to breast cancer treatment.

I am really looking forward to June, when Relay for Life is done (I love it but the regular monthly meeting usually falls in the same week as a couple other meetings and that part sucks), and I’ll hopefully get knocked out of Sock Wars and I can resume my normal life. Although knitting will still figure into the equation (I’ll be participating in the Summer of Socks knitalong and burning through some of the sock yarn stash), I really need to get some balance between that and working out.

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Well, I’m cramming in my last few projects before Sock Wars begins next weekend…

I cast on last Wednesday for a pair of footies that I’ve had in my queue for a couple of months. A pair of these babies takes just ONE ball of Cascade Fixation, no kidding! The pattern is Mom’s Fast Florida Footies from the ColorJoy! web site. It’s a fast, easy and fun pattern, and Fixation is great to work with. It’s cotton, but has elastic in it so it’s good and stretchy — which is another reason why you can get a pair of footies out of one small ball.

I even have enough yarn left to make a second pair. Although for the second pair, I think I’ll modify a little — maybe toe-up, short row heel, and instead of purling on the sole, just stockinette the whole way around. I’m not crazy about how the stitches open way up right along the transition to the purled sole. Maybe casting on more stitches would help with that, but then each footie would use more than half a ball of yarn. I can JUST get a pair out of one ball. I really like the little rolled cuff at the top, though. The yarn is nice and soft and squishy, too.

I’ve also been working on dishcloths with an awareness ribbon motif as a fundraiser for my Relay For Life team. I won’t be knitting up very many of them, just a small amount as an experiment to see how it goes. The first go-round wasn’t so hot. I started off with the Grandmother’s Favorite dishcloth pattern — this is a very popular pattern that pretty much everyone who has ever knitted a dishcloth has made. I charted out an awareness ribbon graphic to knit into the dishcloth. First I tried a garter stitch background, which is what the original pattern calls for, which meant the motif was in stockinette stitch. It looked like crap to me (although I do think it looks better in the photo — but looking better in the photo is not what counts). I had also tried the same pattern but with a stockinette background and garter stitch motif, and that was looking even worse. So I just made a plain dishcloth for the second attempt.

Next, I switched to a different dishcloth pattern that’s knit square instead of on the bias. I used the same basic technique as the Skully Dishcloth, but using my own chart for the ribbon motif. This turned out better — although the ribbon on the first attempt looks a bit squatty. (Click the picture for a close-up.) I’ll need to try to lengthen the top of it so it flows better. It’s worth noting that this technique would work on the bias-knit dishcloth as well — but I really dislike having to do the decreases (knit 2 together) in extremely inelastic dishcloth cotton, especially having been spoiled by knitting a whole bunch of recent projects in stretchier fibers like wool and the elasticized Fixation mentioned above.

I only have five days till Sock Wars starts… so I’ll just have to see how many dishcloths I can finish by then. Plus I still have a lap blanket to weave before the end of the month… better get back to work!

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