Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Legwarmers, a play in 3 acts

Act 1

Me: Legwarmers are stupid! How often do your calves get cold, amirite?? Lulz.
Beth: I wear leg warmers.
Me: ...really?
Beth: Yeah, they really help keep me warm.


Me: Man, the boot-cut jeans are letting breezes in under the cuffs! They're making my... calves... cold...

(light bulb overhead)

Me: I've been such a fool!

Act 2

Me: I will make some plain legwarmers! Just 1x1 ribbing! Basic tubes, for my legs! But how much yarn will I need?

(sits at computer quietly)

Me: But all these patterns are giving wildly different yardages! I have no idea how much yarn I'll need!

(cue: dramatic music)

Me: I shouldn't buy new yarn. I have so much already! But no! There is not enough of any of my superwash wools! And I can't use non-washable, for the leg warmers will get dirty, and I don't want to hand wash them!

Perhaps I will do some colorwork, and since I have superwash wools in different colors! No, the colors I have are ugly together, and I want these to be simple. What about this yarn, whose colors are kind of ugly, but the yarn is so soft? No! Not superwash! And this? No! Ugly!

(days of constant researching later, complete with rings under eyes and crazyhair)

Me: Maybe... maybe just a little colorwork... With this hand-dyed wool -- it's not superwash I KNOW THAT I KNOW THAT. And this nice... black Lana Grossa Cool Wool... The one skein should be enough... But there's that... pretty... pretty... star pattern from those socks... I could just... do some math...

(hours later, happily knitting along)

Me: [frown] Something doesn't seem right... *gasp!* The chart has an error!

(cue: dramatic music)

Me: Do I rip back? Or keep going? Rip back? Keep going? Rip back? Keep going... Keep going... Keep going...

(hours later)

Me: Shit, it's too small! NOOOOOOOOOO! [rips out back to the top band] How will I ever, ever finish these?

Act 3

Me: Finally! I have the first leg warmer! And it fits! But wait! What's this?! I'm out of the black wool?! Which I bought in Philly? Even though I'm living in North Carolina?! NOOOOOOO!

Me: Mom? Dad? I thought I'd come up to Philly for a visit! No no, no particular reason. Just to visit. Yessssss, to visit... heh heh heh... What? No, I'm fine.

(days later)

Me: Almost... there... just have to... sew down hem with elastic in...

Me: Could it be? It COULD! They're done! They're done! (prances around)


Me: Ahh, how did I live my life without leg warmers? I will wear them all the time! I will wear skirts in winter! I will wear them with impunity, and ward off the cold with my LEG WARMERS!

(cue: triumphant music)



(days later)

Me: Man, my knees are really cold.


Wednesday, January 07, 2009

It is a truth universally acknowledged that cancer can suck it

This is Kate:


She's pretty fuckin' awesome. I can't even tell you how much. So when she told me that her grandfather's cancer had returned, I reacted as knitters react: I asked myself what I could knit for him. Being all sneaky-style as I am, I asked Kate if her grandfather had a shoe size, what shoe size he would have. Then a day later I asked her what his opinion was on the F-bomb.

Being also fucking clever, she replied that he would be totally down with a pair of socks that might happen to say "Fuck Cancer." That was good enough for me. A few days later I had these:


Someone asked me for the pattern, and I figured that since I was writing it up I may as well post it here. Make 'em for your loved ones, or your liked ones, or people you haven't even met yet.

Caveat Knitter: I haven't test knit this pattern. But the most important part is the chart, so use it as you will.

Cancer Can Suck It (Socks)

MC: 352 yds sport weight wool (I used 2 balls Lana Grossa Cool Wool 2000 with exactly enough for a 10.3” foot – approx. a man’s size 9)
CC: Not much sport weight wool (I used 1 ball Lana Grossa Cool Wool 2000 and had lots left over)

Size 3 for the ribbing, 4 for stockinette. I knit pretty loosely, so you may have to go up a size for each.

Gauge: 6.5 stitches per inch in stockinette

Top ribbing:
Using size 4 needles cast on 52 stitches
Switch to size 3 needles, join in the round being careful not to twist
K2p2 around for 18 rows

Switch to size 4 needles
Work plain around for 10 rows
Start fair isle lettering.

When you get to the yellow stitch: Pick up left leg of stitch below and to the right -- the one with the thicker border -- and knit that leg together with your next stitch. 

Work plain for 19 rows (or desired length)

Heel (feel free to substitute your own):
Working over half the stitches:
Row 1: *sl1, k1 repeat from * to end of row
Rows 2 and 4: sl1, purl to end
Row 3: sl1, *sl1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1

Repeat until the heel flap is 2.3” ending with a purl row

K15, ssk, k1, turn work
sl 1, p5, p2tog, p1, turn work
Row 1: sl1, K to 1 stitch before gap, ssk, k1, turn work
Row 2: sl1, P to one stitch before gap, p2tog, p1, turn work

Repeat those two rows until all stitches on the heel have been worked, ending with a purl row.


Knit across heel flap, pick up 16 stitches on the side of the heel flap. Place marker. Knit across the top of the sock, place marker. Pick up 16 stitches on the heel flap.

Row 1: Knit to 3 stitches before marker, k2tog, knit to next marker, k1, ssk, work to end
Row 2: Work plain.

Repeat two rows until you’re back down to 52 stitches.

Remove markers and work plain until the sock is 1.25” from being the final length.

Switch to CC.

K26, place marker, k26, pm

Row 1: *k1, ssk, k to 3 before marker, k2 tog, k1, repeat from * to end
Row 2: Work plain

Repeat both rows until you have 24 stitches left (total). Graft toe closed.