Crafts are my passion, Cats are my obsession

My crafting adventures, my cats, my dogs, my opinons - I never did keep a diary as a child, but I'm doing it now!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

In praise of wool socks, and goals for March

I've known it for a long time.  But yesterday it was really driven home...

Wool socks are great when your feet get wet.

I'd already been aware of the difference between wearing one of the few store bought socks I still put on occasionally, or one of the Bernat Hot Sox handknit socks (they are acrylic/nylon blend) and the wool socks I have.  When I find myself accidentally stepping in some spilled dog water, or melted snow tracked into the house.  Wearing non-wool socks means a wet foot for a long time - unless I just plain change them for dry ones.  Wool socks, on the other hand, stay warm, and either they do or they seem to dry quickly.  So, yesterday, since there was so much snow around and I needed to run errands, I decided before I left to change out of the storebought socks I'd put on in the morning, and wear wool socks. The fact that I was wearing a pair of worsted weight wool socks didn't matter - If anything, I almost didn't, because even though we'd had a lot of snow, and it was still falling, and the wind was supposed to increase, it was still a very warm day (relatively speaking, hovering around the freezing mark most of the day) that I almost didn't wear the extra warm socks.

Well, I'm really glad I wore them. By the time I got home, my boots were soaked from top to toe, and right through.  Walking in deep snow, then going indoors, then back out into deep snow, meant a constant cycle of snow sticking to suede then melting then more snow sticking and melting, etc.  So, by the time I got home, and took my boots off, I was somewhat surprised to discover that yes, the water did indeed seep through the suede into the socks, and my feet were indeed wet.... But, since I was wearing wool, my feet were not uncomfortable, and they did not get cold!!

Hurray for wool socks!!!

Now, for the goals...

In January, my goals were:
1. 2 football beanines in team colours by request
2. 3 sock starts for a Ravelry group
3. 4 finishes of projects started before 2012
4. Getting the house in shape
5.  Sort other UFO's from pre-2012 and work on at least one of them
6.  Learn a new technique in knitting (specific to colour work knitting)
So, what actually happened:
1.  Completed the two team colour beanies as well as one more in football colours for another almost relative.  (my grandkids' cousin)
2.  Started all three socks - later known as Blathnat (currently frogged waiting for restart), Hermione, and Pink/flora fauna/cat among the butterflies/theme sock.  Never finished any of them by the end of the challenge month.  According to rules of challenge, they could overlap and be finished the next month and still "qualify" - I wasn't even attempting to enter the contest part, just joining the fun knit along part.
3.  The items to finish were:  afghan (finished in February), stripe/two colour socks (never even touched them), Celtic Cape KAL, (did assess what was needed), and crochet tank/bolero twin set (not touched).
4.  I honestly don't recall getting anywhere fast with the house - though I have chipped away at bits and pieces. Nothing really noticable for a difference, though.
5.  Well, I can't say as I actually sorted any older UFO's, and I definitely didn't work on any of them.  But, I did kind of look at a lot, as I was boxing them up from the craft room.  Don't think it was in January, though maybe a bit at the tail end of the month.
6.  Found out there was to be a baby born, and needed to whip up a baby blanket  - did start and finish that.

7. Started a toe up sock from the Six Sox Knitalong group, since I had some leftover yarn to do it with.
8.  Did not learn the technique I wanted to, but did learn a nice way to cast on for toe-ups that I like.

January successes - 4 completed projects:  3 crochet beanies, 1 crochet baby blanket.

February was a short month, But my goals were loftier.
1. Finish off the crocheted afghan.
2. Finish the toe up socks in worsted yarn for Six Sox group
3. Finish the January mystery socks
4. Finish the flora fauna socks that I'm designing
5. Finish the Hermione socks
6. Work on the two colour socks that are on hold
7. Work on the celtic KAL piece that I need one more repeat for.
8. Write up and post the baby blanket pattern
9. Start the new Six Sox socks.  Yes, it calls to me.
10.Either get off my butt and start practicing spinning, or
needlefelting, or one of the other skills I promised myself
to build this year. 
10. Get the copper dye project done.
11. House - Get the craft room finished!  Must do, before spring
thaws.  MUST DO.
12.  Work on my "special project"
13.  Get a document typed up that needs to be done

Well, I got the crocheted afghan complete, as well as the toe-up socks.  Learned a new way to cast of in rib so that it is nice and stretchy.  Learning the toe up cast on, and the cast off, were not originally in my "to learn" list at the start of the year, but I'm glad I learned them, and they are still new-to-me skills.  And it is always a good thing to keep learning new things.  Good for the brain, to stave off Altzheimer's disease, and good for the soul, to keep one humble.  Yes, I consider myself a skilled knitter, at the advanced or very experienced level, but I don't knew every single thing! (in fact, if I'd had the money, I could have gotten the little piece of paper that says I'm a "master" knitter several years ago - yet I've learned so much since then, and I know there is still more I can learn!)  
I also started the new Six Sox sock - Sea Cruise.  I want to make two pair of these socks, as they do call to me.  But, I'm making one to fit DH, and the next pair will be for me.  They are not going to be started until I've finished the first pair.
I did little toward the house again. But I did sort out some papers that needed sorting, and I did putter at some other stuff.  But I'm really getting concerned about finishing the craft room.  Yet still don't seem to actually put any physical effort in.
I did do half of the special project, and I should have kept going, but I took a small break from it, and never really got back to it.  I do have the time, but I was going to push to finish it quickly.  Oh, well...
And I didn't do anything on the document, except research.  Which is an important part, too, but I didn't even open a document and start typing... :(

Successes for February:
1 pair warm wool socks finished, and 1 afghan totally finished with ends woven in.


SO.  Let\s see what I can do for March:
1.   Finish sea cruise for DH
2.  Start my sea cruise socks
3. Finish Hermione socks (from January! Ravelry group)
4. Restart Blathnat socks from January Rav group
5. Finish pink flora fauna socks  from January Rav group
6.  Get going on finishing part of Celtic Cape
7.  Free up needles so I can finish striped socks
8.  New Raverly Group sock challenge for March: (Feb didn't grab me)
    1. Owl socks (need to buy beads)
    2. Mystery sock again - will involve cables probably so need solid yarn
    3. Gecko Eyes socks
    4. Menehune  Cobblestones sock
9.  GET CRAFTROOM DONE - box up stuff, organize room, start unboxing properly and sorting stuff.
10. Get bedroom tidied up
11. Begin actually writing document
12.  Write up patterns fro baby blanket and afghan, and start (or finish) writing up  pink/cat/florafauna sock pattern

13.  Work on special project - this needs to be finished this month, so I really need to not put it off now.

Well, I know I won't get that all done.   Not to mention, I still have some unfinished stuff from January (sort UFO's, start at least one of them) and February (copper dyeing) that I should try to do.  But, we'll see.  I'm in the home stretch, so to speak, on a couple sock projects.  And really, they *can* be fast projects if I put my mind to them....   Well, maybe not so much - they *are* rather involved patterns...

Oh, right, I'm supposed to show some pictures!!  Ok, here  you go:
Sea Cruise sock #1 done.  Mostly because of the dark yarn used, you can't really see the little boat motifs on the foot.  Never mind in the pictures, it is hard in real life!!  But, when I get mine going, the yarn is lighter, so it should be easier.  I've also finsihed doing the turned hem on the second sock - ready to do the little bit of ribbing band that is between the cuff and the leg.  Not sure why it is there - I've never had a problem with hemmed socks not staying up - must just be something the designer likes to do.  I may leave that part out when I make mine...

Here we have Hermione leg #2.  You can see the pooling issue is finally resolved.  I know I was telling you the second leg is a little wider than the first - well, it isn't *THAT* much wider - that is more the camera angle.  The actual difference is maybe two or three stitches width... Like, when I put the socks on top of each other, like I was showing the cuff in a previous picture, you can see about one and a half stitches on the wider sock sticking out the side... Like, when you look straight down on top of them...  Anyway, it doesn't matter... I'll be wearing them and enjoying them anyway, once they are finished! ::)

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