Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Trip Knitting

On the trip to Moab,AZ, I brought two knitting projects to keep me busy. I ended up knitting mostly on the plane, with only minor knitting at the end of the long day while I was waiting for the photos to download onto the computer.

For one project, I started yet another sock project, but this time it was two socks at a time. I cast-on while still at home the night before I left, so I could work out all the twisty and tangles that I *knew* was going to happen.

First, I put the single cake of yarn in a old nylon so that I could knit from two ends of the cake without getting tangled. Then, I ended up frogging 4x before I got it right. I tried to do the magic loop with two socks. It ended up a tangled mess, so I gave up on THAT idea (especially since I can't do any magic loop with a SINGLE project, let alone two!). I opted for two circular needles instead.

I frogged THAT 3x before I got it right. I couldn't figure out why I was getting tangled. It would have helped if I had two different colored needles or cable to figure out which needle went to what, but since I was going on a plane, I needed to use my wooden needle sets....which are, unfortunately, exactly the same. *sigh*

Once I got that cast onto the needles and worked 3-4 rows without tangling, I worked up both toes (and all the increases for that) and left the foot length (just before the arch expansion) for the plane as there really is no increase for the rounds.

I had forgotten to photocopy the actual pattern from my book, so I brought the whole book (to my complete and utter detriment because I *forgot* the book on the plane on the last leg of the trip home. So I had to order another one so I can finish the damn socks (plus I actually really do like the book))

Now that the socks are past the early set of rows, it's relatively easy to knit both socks at once (until I do a brain dead manuever and use the wrong circ needle, which then leaves me with both socks on one circ needle, but luckily, it's an easy fix). Now, I don't have to worry too much about getting both socks *exactly* the same. Previous, each sock was just *slightly* different from the other (either a little long in the foot or leg), but not enough for anyone to notice...except for me.

In addition to the socks, I brought a simpler project -- a moebius cowl -- which totally appeals to the mathematician side of me (I double majored in CS & Math). It's a simple knit & purl combination of rows worked in a simple 3-6-9 pattern (3k, 3p, 6k, 3p, 9k, 3p, 9k, 3p, 6k, 3p, 3k). I cast on several days before the trip (using Cat Bordhi's YouTube video on casting on a moebius), and got about 4 inches into the project. It's worked on a single long circular needle with a twist to get the moebius effect. There's no dangling needles and it packs up pretty darn compact.

What's nice about this project is that it's really simple and mindless, and can be taken in-and-out of the bag relatively easy and you really don't need to think about where you are...just look at either a purl or knit row. Consequently, it was a nice trip project to bring in for the airport, or when you know that you don't need to concentrate all that much. I'm currently using the tencel/merino yarn I bought at Stitches and it's just absolutely lvely to work with.

Both projects were small enough (or wrapped small enough) to fit into the backpack with room to spare. The small REI stuff sacks were absolutely perfect to use, as they're nylon and I don't have to worry about the needles poking through...plus they just pack small.