Sunday, December 11, 2011

Drunken bees make me want to drink

So, for my third attempt at this pattern, I switched to larger needles (US 3 and 4) and replaced ssk with sl1, k1, psso.  Both were lifesavers!  
And I was doing OK with this third attempt...except that I was using 16-inch size 4 circulars which have such tiny needles that are incredibly hard for my big hands to manipulate.  So I kept losing stitches left and right, and in this pattern when most stitches were lost they are impossible to find. So after a row with three misplaced stitches that I could not fix, I frogged again.
I gave the bees a rest for a couple of days.  I started attempt #4 by dropping down to US 3 needles that had full-size points.  To compensate for the decrease in edge circumference, I cast on 139 stitches and did the first round * k2tog k2tog p2tog *, repeat to end.  This would allow for stretchiness and a cute ruffly edge. Then I knit 9 more rounds in the pattern's k2 p1 ribbing, and proceeded with the pattern.  So far so good in both knitting and fit, and this has changed the game so much I will say it again:  sl1, k1, psso has been a lifesaver! 
I did learn--the hard way--that cabled knitting is NOT one I can take on a car ride.  I hadn't even finished one row before I was hit with the worst case of motion sickness that I have had in months.  It knocked me flat on my back for several hours after we had arrived home.
But attempt #4 is progressing nicely.  Once I finish the pattern, I'll drop to the US 2 (2.75mm) for the heel and foot.  
Flight (more like fight) of the Drunken Bees
In the meanwhile, I cast on the next Birthday Sock.  This one is a plain one because the skein of yarn has only 400 yards and I want to be sure I have enough yarn for a pair of normal-length socks.  
Sock 15.0, in Jitterbug - Copperbeech
I have fallen in love with Colinette yarns, especially the Jitterbug.  They are beautifully wound and springy.  The colorways are breathtaking:  the picture above doesn't do it justice.  Even seeing it in the skein didn't do it justice:  it wasn't until I started knitting with it that I noticed hints of blues and reds and other subtle tones that really make the sock come alive.  The fabric on US 2 (2.75mm) and 1 (2.25 mm) is beautiful...I know, it's a smaller needle than the pattern on the band recommends, but I'm starting to get the hang of how I like my socks to fit, and I seem to have good luck and better fits if I drop down to 1s for sock weight and 2s for sport weight.
The biggest gripe, as I said before, is the yardage.  400 yards is more than enough if I do a pair of ankle socks.  The label's pattern and website say that 400 yards should be enough for a pair of women's socks.  I'm a bit nervous.  I was going to do them in a ribbing that was under the six-stitch patterns section of Sensational Knitted Socks, but after reading the yardage decided that I had better play it safe.  Plus, the yarn is rather dark so a lot of patterns would be lost anyway.  
I need to cold sheep in 2012, but that's for another post.  So is the flashing of my most recent stash acquisitions, which should be delivered in a few days.  It is my birthday month, after all...and what better way to celebrate birthdays and Christmas than with some yarn?

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