Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Exciting Day

(So I was just sitting here at work eating lunch and wandering around Ravelry, when it occurred to me I should be updating the blog. I was feeling guilty because, thanks to the site traffic monitor widget I installed the other week, I knew people had actually been visiting—sent over from the majorknitter blog—and I had written nothing about the event they were trying to check out. So here I am, but I have to be fast, since I'm at work, eating lunch.)
On Friday I took a vacation day in order to attend a sock class presented by Charlene Schurch at Knitting Central. She has written two solid books of sock patterns that also provide information on resizing and personalizing. Considering my affection for sock knitting and design, it seemed sensible to attend.
The work shop was called "Sock Options." We discussed a few styles of cast on which reinforced the wisdom that a long tail cast on is a good all purpose and somewhat stretchy cast on that is suitable for socks. But she suggested using a flared or hemmed cast on if you have troubles. I wasn't impressed with the looks of the flared, and it seemed fairly straight forward, so I did the hemmed cast on which incorporated an adorable picot trim. I have seen and heard about this cuff and worked something similar on my Ultra Femme sweater, so it was interesting to see it in action on a sock. To facilitate the knitting together which closes the hem, we learned a variation of the knitted cast on—and I totally blew it by doing a normal knitted cast on because I didn't wait for her at table demonstration.
While we were knitting our samples, she discussed ways to alter patterns depending on fit. She also discussed gauge and negative ease, which made me feel good because it more or less matched what I had said in my sock club letter. The difference being she went through the scary math that is accurate and I do the sweeping just subtract one inch from your foot measure. :-)
Then we discussed heels a bit. The class pattern had directions for stockinette, heel stitch and eye of partridge. I did eye of partridge since it isn't one I normally use. She also suggests doing this neat garter stitch edging on heel flaps instead of just slipping the first stitch like I usually do. It seems to have potential.
I was working my sample in the light pink Zara I had left over from when Nancy Bush was in town. Charlene was like "bleh" when she saw my yarn, and said some of the issues I was having would be better in sock yarn.
She also discussed how to do a "princess sole", which I've seen mentioned on-line, and a couple of toes.
It was all rather fun and informative and I think I will use a number of these methods against my Sol Joy socks when the Summer of Socks 08 finally starts. Definitely the adorable cuff, I'll see how the rest of the sock develops.

Prom Night!
Actually, I had to leave the class early so I could go get ready for the prom. snicker. Every year Hubby signs on as a chaperon and I tag along. It's a little unclear whether I'm an official chaperon, but I guess I'm another adult presence.
Chalk me up as one of the people who didn't enjoy their own senior prom, so I find it terribly amusing that I've gone to one every year of my marriage.
This year's theme was A Masquerade. The theme doesn't influence what the kids wear, it is just for the decorations. So there were Mardi Gras masks around, both ones you could wear and these 4 foot tall cardboard ones. The center pieces on the tables were tall, clear posts that were filled with goo into which the decorating committee inserted glow sticks. As a finale to the post were this massive feather duster things. There were also glow stick bracelets and flashing necklaces, as well as Mardi Gras beads with flashing bobbles at the end and flashing rings. The place was quite sparkly, and of course I couldn't get a good picture because either the flash washed it out or it was too dark (I forgot about the night setting on the camera).
But a good time was had by all. The meal is always a roast chicken breast with mashed potatoes, carrots and string beans. The first year we went the chicken breasts were so big we thought they were turkey until we started eating! They have been a much more reasonable size in subsequent years and a always rather tasty. The is no alcohol at all, not even for the chaperons (although goodness know we could use it, haha), so I always belly up to the bar and order a Shirley Temple. This year they had them pre-made in pitchers, but the ice melted and they were gross, so I had to ask for a fresh one. Still, we where there until around 11 and didn't get home until midnight. Talk about a tiring, exciting day!

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