Monday, August 1, 2011


That is the ratio of knitting projects taken to knitting projects work on during our July trip to California.

I think it's fairly decent. Actually, it's more like 4:2 since I finished my active project and cast on a new one on the flight home.

That, of course, means I worked on half the projects I brought, which is pretty good, all things considered.

Some of you, however, might think I was being an under-achiever since I brought only four projects along on a 10-day vacation. Still, I knew it would be an active vacation, and I didn't want the stress of unworked projects weighing on my mind.

In the picture I am relaxing with my knitting at the William Hill Estate Winery. Hubby had a 10 am tasting appointment. They had lovely Adirondack chairs with lovely views out in the garden where he could do the tasting (as opposed to inside at the bar). This allowed me to easily sit and knit. While this was very relaxing, it meant we were there for at least an hour, if not more, which cut into our progress for the day. Regardless, Hubby joined their club, which indicates he likes what he tasted.

Sock Love
The project of choice was the Cotton Swirl Socks I cast on when Summer of Socks 2011 started. I hadn't been focusing on them as much as I should, it being the Summer of Socks and all, and the trip seemed like a good opportunity.

Socks are my favorite travel project for a number of reasons:
  • They are small and portable so they fit nicely in both checked and carry on luggage.
  • I often knit plain stockinette stitch socks so I don't have to worry about carrying a pattern or stopping and starting.
  • I usually have a SIP (sock-in-progress) so it is easy to grab and pack without needing to dig around for the pattern, notions, extra needles for swatching, etc.
  • One skein usually makes a pair, so I don't have to worry about bringing extra yarn or running out, etc.
There was (is?) a pattern for these socks. Namely Summer Spiral by Jersey Knitter. However, I had the PDF on my iPhone so I didn't have to worry about carrying it around. Also, the pattern was easy to memorize so I probably would have been ok going from memory.

Easy, Peasy
This is a nice pattern that is easy to memorize. She gives lots of notes about working the pattern along with a few different stitch pattern options.

As you can see, I opted for the mirrored spirals. I rebelled against the pattern and worked a Cotton swirl done sideprincess sole, which I prefer for cotton blend sock yarn.

I also changed the heel flap just a little. The pattern has you slip the first stitch and knit the last stitch of each row. It's been so long since I've worked a heel flap that way that I didn't work it very well. One edge was tighter than the other so it was lopsided. Really strange.

As I was gawking at that I realized I was working the flap over the wrong number of stitches. The combination of errors made it easy to rip the flap out and rework it on the correct number of stitches with a garter stitch edge.

Although the pattern is straight forward, clearly written, and easy to memorize, I would rate the actual pattern for an advanced beginner who is confident reading patterns.

The stitch pattern is just charted, not written out. Because of this the written part of the pattern is a little abbreviated in that it refers you directly to the chart for X number of repeats. As opposed to having the stitch pattern written out and then saying X number of repeats.

This is probably a common way to write patterns, just different from the way I do it, and maybe a style to which you are accustomed.

Anyway, it takes like 3 seconds to figure out what is going on then you'll be happily knitting. And, really, it's not like I found any mistakes or anything, so it's a pretty minor "issue."

Project Stats
Pattern: Summer Spirals by Jersey Knitter
Size: XS
Needles: US1.5 for ribbing. US1 for sock.
Yarn: Crystal Palace Yarns Panda Cotton Print.

Not so sure about how I feel about this yarn. It was soft and felt nice to knit with. However, it is made up of several disparate plies and I found it just a little bit splitty. Nothing major. I either caught it as it happened or found it on the next round and fixed it. But it happened enough for me to feel the need to mention it.

I wore the socks on the flight home and have not washed them yet, so I can't yet tell you how the yarn holds up.

1 comment:

  1. I packed 4 projects too! That's not counting the two random balls of yarn I stuck in at the last minute, "just in case I finish all 4." So far I've worked on 3, but finished 0. Four days to go!