Sunday, February 24, 2008


I've got some items on the go that I'd like to finally show everyone. I've been trying to master the toe-up sock. I've been really nervous about it, and asked other knitters exactly when they started the heel, and such. It wouldn't be a big deal to rip out, but I've been working with hand-spun yarn. It is two-plyed, and due to an unfortunate event, that of a friend ripping back socks from sock yarn I had made for her, I had the chance to view said handspun that had been ripped. It separated in a sad way, and I was definitely trying not to rip my current sock-in-progress if I could help it. (Sorry about that yarn, Mel, but it was my first) =/

So I cast on with some yarn that I liberated from the husband's socks-not-to-be. (Sorry, hon. They just weren't fun.) And I started a toe-up sock from Charlene Schurch's Sensational Knitted Socks, the Oriel pattern. I've poured over every step, from the provisional cast-on to the odd way she seemed to turn the heel. In fact, it was a bit like knitting a pocket on a sweater. I don't have to understand how it works, I only have to fanatically follow each step exactly as it is written. And it worked! The first sock:

Cool, no? Now, here's a funny thing about my handspun sock yarn. Well, I'll just show you:

See what it's doing? It's striping. Now, let me explain. I am not a proficient spinner. I am, in fact, the spinner that pulls out great whacks of roving and spins it pretty thin, then Andean plies it back on itself when I get too much on my spindle. Then I roll it in a ball, put it aside and do it all again, getting four pretty good spindlefuls from each 4 ounces of roving. When I Andean-plied this sock yarn, it started to stripe. I thought it would stop pretty quickly, but with each color, it kept doing that. I had to show my knitting pals, and they thought it was odd, too. I mean, I don't know enough to make striped yarn. And yet, here 'tis. Unexplainable, and striped. We're pretty sure my daughter has invited little helpers in the house, cuz we believe in all sorts of magical beings around here, who bring us good luck to things like knitting, and souffles, for instance.

And that is my Shows. Now, my Tell would be a story I have of a friend of ours, who used to play tournament chess, when he was, like, 11 years old. He was pretty good, played for several years, and he brought a crystal chess set yesterday for my ten-year-old. She loved it, and they sat down to play. When they set up the board, they realized they were missing a king and a queen, one from one side, one from the other. Our friend was duly upset, promised to stop by the store on the way home and get another set, just to replace the two pieces. We chuckled about the marketing ploy of companies getting people to buy two of everything, just to be sure they had enough. Very clever. But my daughter wanted to play, so she grabbed a couple of substitutes from my three-year-old. Suffice it to say, our friend, the championship chess player, was deeply offended:

I'm not kidding. He was not amused. But they played for over two hours, with him explaining each move to my daughter, indicating why one move was more desirable than another. And he didn't let her win, but carefully explained why he won, and she left the table happy, which is amazing in itself. She has little to no tolerance for anything but excellence in herself, and I admit that I expect something close to the same. I'm working on being better about that. But the game finally ended, and I got up to put it away. (Don't go there. I don't know why it seems to work that way, either) As I turned the game box over, I found - oh, wait. Another Show:

Heehee. Sure, why was it on the back? But it also gives me a little insight as to why no one can find the ketchup in the fridge.


Cheryl S. said...

Too funny about the chess pieces. Were they packaged that way so you could see the actual pieces when the box was sealed, so you'd know what they looked like before you bought them?

Those Oriel socks look great - I may have to give them a try. BTW, I took my book to Kinkos and had them spiral-bind it (for about $5, I think) - now it lays flat (and can be folded over on itself) - it's much easier to work with.

Mouse said...

I can't believe that a 2 ply spun yarn is striping like that! I could understand a navajo ply b/c it would keep the colors intact but - wow. Its awesome though. I haven't ever spun thinly enough to make sock yarn but I do have a whack of superwash merino here that is calling to be made into socks. All that with a spindle? super impressed!

TheAmpuT said...

I love your stripey socks!
As for the chess, I wonder if his being offended came from the pieces not matching. Because you can get complete chess sets in all sorts of characters. I think you should get him a whole disney set as a prank gift LOL.

LaurieM said...

Love that sock yarn! Good for you, now if you can just figure how you did it and do it again. :-)

I had a good chuckle over your chess piece story too. It's like that at my house too....

Marlene said...

Great yarn! And on a spindle too.

The only way I could bear playing chess for longer than it would take to set it up would be if the whole set was something like your substitute pieces!

Chess. Golf. Fishing. My three great tortures.

Laura B said...

I just recently tried toe-up for the first time too! Yours look very nice!

Carrie K said...

That's hilarious about your friend. Clearly the King & Queen were separated so that he could learn to play w/Pooh and Tigger. Better late than never! lol.

Your Oriel socks do look great. Slavishly following a pattern can be so freeing.

Anonymous said...

I like how the game went. So much better than "letting" someone win. She'll probably have a much deeper appreciation of the game that way.

Congrats on the toe-up socks!

Robert said...

Bahahaha... ha. I laughed more reading your write up than I did when I saw him playing the game. :) I need a copy of that picture to send him.