Saturday, October 23, 2010

The good and the ugly...

I started the Black Tie Optional socks as an antidote for the stockinette knitting of the long underwear. The Black Tie Optional socks were knit with the same yarn as the long johns, i.e. from a partial cone of Webs sock yarn. The beads if you can see them in the photos are black. The top of the insole is my "adaptation" (I mean mistake) of the designer's pattern. I was unwilling to unravel the foot of the sock when I discovered that I somehow used a non-existing chart. Don't ask how this is possible; I have no idea how I managed to conjure up a chart that is not there. The pattern is by Adrienne Fomg from Belly Button Knits Designs and can be found in the Ravelry group Sock Knitters Anonymous.

The beads are best visible on the heel.

The ugly socks were knit for my "nephew" Nick. Nick adopted me. He chose the yarn. It is of unknown character a little thicker than usual and has been in my stash forever.

These make sixteenth pair of socks for the year.

Progress Report on the long johns: I have knit half of one leg.

Knit on Merrily!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall in Northern Michigan

On the way to Hoxeyville, Michigan, an unincorporated area in Northern Michigan with no main street and 300 or so souls. The landscape, however, makes up for non-existing amenities.
Near Hoxeyville, Michigan

Sassafras leaves at Minnie Pond near White Cloud, Mich. in Manistee National Forest. The camping area is named after Minnie Pond, the wife of one of the founders of the area.

Maple leaves, Minnie Pond.

Oak trees, Minnie Pond.

Oak tree at the side of our driveway.

View from the mailbox and now we are home again.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I must be crazy... I am crazy. I am going to knit long underwear for my daughter A. It all started with A. buying three 3-pound cones of sock yarn from Webs. She was going to skein the yarn, dye it, and then sell the skeins. Then she decided that skeining was a hassle and she'd rather buy skeins in bulk. So this old German kept staring at these cones and asking herself "what to do, what to do?".

And then in her October 3rd post, Tichiro -knits and cats (in German) presented patterns from an old German knitting magazines which included long underwear. You may want to click on the link and scroll down to October 3 and take a look at the photos. They really are a hoot, particularly the men's knit jockey shorts.

As my eyes fell on those cones of off-white sock yarn, I knew what to do with at least part of one of the cones: Knit A. underwear. Of course! what else would one do. A good project for evening knitting for these older eyes. Now, realize that the instruction for the ski underwear is only a paragraph long. That includes both top and bottom. So much is left to the imagination or the assumption that grandmother or mother knows how to knit and can help you. The commercial yarn is no longer manufactured, I think; no thickness is given; no needle size; no amount of yarn indicated; only the instructions of casting on 80 stitches for the waist and eventually increasing to 220 stitches. Mine is not a family of hour glass waists, so to the drawing board I went. A swatch was knit, washed, blocked and measured and, cast on accordingly on US 2 (2.75 mm) needles.

Oops, the beginning was big enough for a 60"+ waist which, of course, was followed by visiting the frog pond and casting on again. I am on my way now and will keep you updated about this adventure.

As an aside, after the end of WWII, my mother and friends knit undershirts for us children. After all, human beings needed to wear undershirts since God unlike the animals hadn't equipped us with fur. (In fact when I visited my mother in Germany with two small children in 1966, my mother immediately commented on the children not having under shirts.) In order to save yarn, the shirts were always knit in a drop stitch pattern. This long underwear won't be knit in a drop stitch pattern. I have plenty of yarn.

Knit on Merrily!