In no particular order:
A huge thank you to Marit, who created my wonderful new blog button and banner, featuring the lovely Miss Lucy.
And an equally huge thank you to Catherine S., who made a donation to the Montgomery County Humane Society in Izzy’s name. I got a card from the Humane Society yesterday letting me know. I love that you have honored her memory in such a wonderful way.
Some Sock Talk
Cheryl had some toe-up sock questions in yesterday’s comments.
First, when you undo the provisional cast-on, don’t you end up with one less stitch? Or do you automatically make an extra stitch while picking up?
Yes you do end up with one less stitch. and yes, I always automatically make an extra stitch whe picking up.
Second, some people recommend using a reinforcing thread (I know some sock yarns come with this), especially for toes and heels. Do you do this, and if you do, does it make a difference with wear?
I don’t use reinforcing thread. I think the sock yarns I use all wear pretty well, because they are all approximately 20% nylon. But I give all my socks away, so I can’t give you a personal report on their wearability. Anyone care to comment on this?
Last, do you swatch when using a new sock yarn or do you go by the recommended gauge? Some toe-up patterns claim that gauge doesn’t matter because you can adjust as you knit.
I am the Queen of No Swatching. I do have a pretty good idea what my gauge will be so can easily estimate the number of stitches for a sock. If I’m unsure of the width of a recipient’s foot, I’ll do the sock in a few more stitches and do a rib pattern — that way if I’ve over-compensated, the rib will pull it in for a snug fit.
Ebony Needle Tragedy
The other night I was ready to switch to my larger needle while knitting Roscalie. Imagine my horror when I whipped out my 80cm 3.25mm (US 3) ebony needle and discovered that there is a chip out of the tip of the needle. I have absolutely no idea how this could have happened. I last used the needle for the body of Hank 8 and put it away carefully as soon as I was done with it. I tried to use it, but the chip bothered me too much, so I sadly put it away and am using a Crystal Palace bamboo instead.
What makes matters worse is that no one seems to make the ebony or rosewood needles in size 3.25mm anymore. The sizes jump from 3.0 to 3.5 mm.
I suppose I could grind down the tip of the needle and make a new point . . . assuming I had the ability to do that. I don’t think sanding it with an emery board is going to get it done in my lifetime.
Lucy’s being a big help with Roscalie.
Her fur does look lovely knitted into the pattern.
Speaking of Lucy, does she look like she’s settling in?