Thursday, March 6, 2008

It is official - I am insane

I can't keep up with my knitting queue already. So why I would do this is clearly something I ought to be working through with a trained professional. But do it I did. I signed up for...
Yup, I'm going to be competitively knitting socks. Go ahead and laugh. I'll wait. I know it'll take a while. It does when I think about it too.

Got your breath back? Good. So anyway, I'm not quite halfway to ready for the starting gun and the first pattern comes out on the 13th. I may already be in trouble. I picked yarns. Lots of yarns. And I wound them into cakes. So now I've got single cakes (for the most part - except for the Claudia's and the laceweights - yup laceweight for socks - I told you I was insane, although in fairness to me I didn't learn about the laceweight until after I'd signed up but not one to back away from a challenge I got some).
Lots of cakes. But I need to split the cakes into even halves so I can knit both socks at once if I so choose. But I want to keep them joined so that in case I end up not using a yarn for Sock Madness and decide it wants to be a scarf I don't have to rejoin the yarn. So I have this clever plan to rewind the cakes into a pair of cakes. Wind half from the inside and then the other half from the outside. The drawback of course, is that for at least some yarns, if not all, I will end up with fraternal twins because the color changes of the variegates will be reversed. But realistically speaking, this is unlikely to be a serious issue since I'm unlikely to make it much past the first cut if that far. And at that point, though I'll keep knitting along for the fun I won't be racing so much that I can't cut and rewind the second half in the same direction as the first once I see that I like the yarn in the pattern.

Somewhere in here I need to swatch too so I know what needles with what yarns produce which of the desireable gauges. This morning the FoUI (my DH for those confused by the acronym - known around here as the Font of Useless Information because, well he is) even asked me if I had started swatching yet. In the same tone of voice he uses to ask the child if she's done her homework yet.

In preparation, in addition to getting yarns ready, I thought I should also work on getting some stuff done. After all I'm gonna need the needles for one thing. So I finished the Rockin' Sock Club January Socks.
Pattern: Serendipity by Adrienne Fong
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight in Dragon Dance
Mods: I swapped the lace pattern (started on row 15 of the chart instead of row 1) and the direction of the decreases for the toe so that the socks would mirror each other. Otherwise I knit to the pattern.
Notes: The heel and toe as written do not fit my particular, somewhat duck-shaped, foot well. When I reknit this pattern, and I will because it was fairly easy and seems to play nice with colorful STR yarn, I will do the heel over fewer stitches and also leave fewer stitches unknit in the center. I will also switch to a wedge toe since that seems to fit my feet better.

I am pleased by the way the socks turned out (other than the fit issues which are easily solved) since I seem to have even managed to match the striping in some spots anyway.

This nice bright red/red-orange is a great color for Project Spectrum 3's current focus on the element of Fire. But it's not really my color. I didn't really warm to the color in the skein. (Pun not intended.) Once I wound it into the cake I liked it a lot better but now that they are knit up I find I like it less than I did in the cake, although more than I did in the skein. This has made me think a bit about how to use this knowledge to pick yarns in the future.

I'm not a big fan of reds in general unless they are blue-ish ones so while I can see the colors as beautiful in the objective sense, these socks are going to be a gift. I believe I even have a friend for whom they would be a good fit in the places they don't fit me too well. So I think I shall have to come up with a reason to gift them to her. How about because it's Friday? Or Wednesday or whatever day I can manage to get together with her.

I've got another red sock yarn that I want to knit up that will be a Project Spectrum 3 Fire project that I'll keep. This red is bluer - more my thing. Plus the pattern has beads which my magpie soul is all over. The only trick will be finding the time to get it knit up within the period of time PS3 is focussing on Fire. I've only got until the end of March and between Sock Madness and all my other projects I'm not sure I can fit it in.

Because, not only did I sign up for Sock Madness after signing up for the Rockin' Sock Club, I also joined the Dream In Color Sweater KAL that Sheri (of Loopy Ewe fame) started up. I've done my swatch. Tomorrow I will wash it and make sure that I have the right needle size. Then I have to knit up my Mr. Greenjeans sweater before the end of May. Preferably sooner since, living as I do in sunny California, by May I shouldn't need a sweater too often.

I also appear to have managed to sign up for two different lace subscriptions. Wildly spending the holiday/birthday gift money while thinking they were the same subscription and that I hadn't actually signed up is probably how I managed to sign up for two. I find it hard to believe that even I could have been so deluded about my knitting speed that I'd have thought two was a wise idea.

However it happened, one of them arrived today. I was briefly confused until I worked out that I had in fact doubled down on lace this year. It's lovely, a pattern by Miriam Felton and a gorgeous green laceweight from Wooly Wonka, but I think maybe I should try to finish Cluaranach before starting any more lace projects. Then there's the next pair of Seely Socks for the FoUI. Who totally deserves them considering how supportive he's being over the whole Sock Madness thing. Not to mention the whole more yarn coming in than knitted things being produced thing.

And that's only the tippy tip of the iceberg. Next time I may post the huge long list of WIPs and queued things that I wish were WIPs - or even better FOs - and the designs my brain seems bent on designing itself, and so on that are why I'm feeling such ravening desire to knit and to have finished knits. At least if I post it I won't have to devote precious brain resources to remembering it since I can look it up here. Maybe then I'll be able to remember that I've got lots of projects to do, not to mention that I'm already in enough yarn clubs and KALs for the moment, and not be tempted by yet another.

Yeah, right, this is me. Like Lord Darlington, "I can resist everything except temptation."


Camping Jason said...

I found your solution to knitting all those socks. Click here to see a photo :-D

Anonymous said...

Good grief woman! Talk about taking a big bite! Want to join me in a mystery lace KAL (it is the only thing I have joined)?

I wouldn't split up the yarn cakes, just knit a sock from each end. Unless you want more to keep you busy? ;-)

Good luck and have fun!

spinnity said...

Magpies, Unite! I'm taking the Madness plunge too. I haven't wound everything, and I don't have my laceweight yet.

But if I were winding everything, I would not worry about actually cutting between the cakes. You can always re-wind them into single cakes with a knot in 'em later, if need be. What's two more ends to weave for a sock warrior?

Maiaspins and I must be opposite personalities! Now you've got advice for both options.

Sheepish Annie said...

Hey, lots of projects means lots of interesting things on the horizon, right?

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Shea said...

Yep, you're absolutely insane. But in a good knitterly sorta way! :)

Susan Pandorf said...

Well, at least you will never be bored...


AuntieAnn said...

You have even more sock yarn than I do. Good luck with the challenge! I try not to knit competitively, myself -- can't take the pressure! chokes and staggers off

Octopus Knits said...

Good luck with all that sock knitting! Whew!

Chris said...

You are so like me! You'd not believe the UFO pile in the house right now, particularly as I reduced it by half last year! i cannot resist lace-alongs, bargain yarn, posh yarns but thankfully I'm only in the one competition! There's still only 11 finshed in our division so keep at it, there's plenty of time to rest your hands AND still get thru to the next round.
RE yarn cakes, I knitted my Zombies one from the center and one from the outside of the same ball. I tucked the centre sock underneath the ball with the centre yarn on the bottom while I worked the outer then flipped (outer yarn and sock on bottom, inner yarn and sock on top) which mostly stopped them from being tangled. I had so little yarn left over, I was amazed!
Good luck anyway, I';m sure you'll find your knitting mojo