Thursday, March 19, 2015

Marching on

Between the rain and the sudden appearance of flowers, I'm tentatively declaring Spring to have arrived. We've already got one of the cars stuck in the mud and then subsequently un-stuck, thanks to our very helpful and very nice neighbors. Yellow House Guy and Retired Guy were both awesome and are deserving of good things. Needless to say, we'll be parking in the driveway until we can get the secondary driveway sorted out with some gravel and a hoe and rake.

The Garage Project is about to move forward quite a bit and, if the gods favor us, we should have a brand new green door by the end of the day. I'm super excited about being able to open and close it by myself, but the windows and insulation will also be a plus. I'm strongly considering a celebratory leaf mulcher. (So many leaves. So. Many.)

We've also had sun and warm days. I may have spent the majority of those outside and I may have gotten a little pink from sun. I've had a vitamin D deficiency all winter and I'm half convinced that I actually run on solar power. Thanks to those sunny days, I finally got the embroidery done on Miss Summer's hanky.

While there are things I know I could have done better on this one, I'm generally pleased with the work as a whole. It just needs a hem, a wash, and a good pressing and it'll be completely finished. 

There's this crazy idea that if you work on something, it gets finished faster. Bekah is convinced this is but myth and rumor, but I'm currently testing the theory by actually working on my eldest's quilt. It worked on Summer's hanky and it's too early to tell, but I might be able to finish before she goes to college.

...which was funny when she was in grade school.

I'm also thinking about learning to quilt after I finish this one. Because I jump in and do before I learn something, I tend to miss things like "Heeey, you can make the corners match up!" or "Did you know that you could plan a quilt? Who does that?" For now, I want to just do what I can before the weather gets too hot. It's just straight lines, but I can't be crawling under that in June.

And hey! A Finished Object!
These are Fork in the Garbage Disposal from Fork in the Road Socks by Lara Neel, done up in Andey Originals Sock yarn in the Holy Crap! Bubbo's on Fire! colorway.

I. Love. This. Heel. I have never had a heel fit so well, much less an afterthought heel. Offering Fork in the Road for free is about the cleverest thing because now I really do want Sock Architecture. The only thing I changed about the pattern was doing a rip cord/zip line thingamy instead of the provisional cast on in the middle of the sock. That worked a treat and I wish I were clever enough to have figured it out myself, but Bekah was the one that helped me wrap my brain around it. 

And that's this week's technique:
  • Rip Cord/Zip Line for afterthought heels
So, when you get to where you want to put a heel, whether you're going toe up or top down, grab a piece of scrap yarn, drop the working yarn, and use the scrap yarn as your working yarn. Knit across however many stitches are going to become your heel (usually half), drop the scrap yarn, go back to where you dropped the working yarn, and work across those same stitches again. Keep on keepin' on until you get to whichever end of the sock you were trying to get to. 

There should be a tidy little line right across half of the sock where your heel is going to go, as you can see in the sock on the left. 

For the next part, there are probably several ways you can do this, but the following is what I did: 

First, I picked up the stitches on either side of the rip cord.

You can see the brown scrap yarn between the needles here. Once I made sure that my count was right and nothing was going to be twisted, I picked out the scrap yarn. The first few stitches were a little challenging, but it got easier once I could open it up a little. 

When that was done, it looked like this:

I joined the yarn, crossed the stitches at the corners to reduce the dreaded corner gap, and proceeded with the heel. This worked much better for me than trying to fiddle with a provisional cast on and seemed much quicker and more intuitive. 

I'm also working on:

And I made a rainbow pizza for Ultimate Pi Day:

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