It has been hot this past week! Not good weather for knitting a largish shawl. Next week should be cooler so perhaps I'll make some better progress. I know you'd like to see a picture, but honestly, it doesn't photograph well. See?
Not only is red hard to photograph, but I find it hard on my eyes. In the nice weather, I like to sit on my patio, listen to my i-pod (I highly recommend Cast On of course, and Sticks and String too) and knit. But even in the shade, the red hurts my eyes. It's not so bad indoors though.
So that's one strike against working on this project in the nice weather. Another one is that having the shawl on multiple circular needles means that it spreads out on my lap. Ordinarily, when a shawl is knit one one circular needle, it gathers up in a neat little bag. But this beast spreads out and warms me up! I'm going to get done what I can in the cool weather, but I may just have to put this project aside for the summer. It'll be in good company though. Remember my Lopi sweater? I think I'll be busy in the fall.
The other project I've been working on this week is a pair of toe up socks in Apple Laine yarn.
I'm giving another presentation at the Forest City Knit Club, this time on heels for toe-up socks. My first presentation was on the toes for toe up socks. I taught the group how to do a magic-8 cast-on, and I brought in a model of a half-finished short row toe. This time I'm going to teach them how to work a short row heel and bring in a model of a toe-up heel flap.
This is from Judy Gibson's original pattern You're Putting me On. I've been wanting to try this method of creating a toe up heel for a while and this class was the perfect opportunity. Essentially, you create the gusset with increases, then create a little heel pocket:
You pick up stitches around this pocket and knit your way up the heel flap, knitting it to the gusset stitches as you go. It's neat, and relatively easy, once you get the concept. I'm sure I'll be working more of these, refining it as I go. For example, I'd like to try it using heel stitch.
The other neat thing about these socks is the ribbing on the top of the foot.
I'm calling it random rib. Basically, I decided to put any combination of knits and purls together into a rib. The pattern I used on the first needle was: P2, K2, P1, K1tbl, P1, K3, P2, K1tbl, P1, K1. Then I've mirrored it on the other needle so it goes: K1, P1, K1tbl, P2, K3, P1, K1tbl, P1, K2, P2. Notice that the K1 come together at the top of the foot and also that the P2 occurs at the end of each needle so that there will be a nice gully on either side of the gusset.
I'm happy with it. Why should our ribbing always be something entirely predictable and regular? It's only knitting. Let's live a little!