Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Silas Monday, on Tuesday

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2014 is to blog more often; to that end I've been toying with the idea of assigning each day to a certain knitting project. Mondays are for Silas knitting. I've been oddly reluctant when it comes to knitting for my babies. I couldn't tell you exactly why when I was expecting Gabriel, though it ended up seeming disturbingly prescient. After Gabriel, the hesitation was all too understandable. I'm determined to shake this, so I have resolved to always have something on the needles for Silas from here on out, and Monday is the day for working on it.  Tuesday apparently is the day for blogging about it, since I didn't manage to finish writing this until today.

The sweater is complete.  I know I posted about it being finished a couple of Fridays ago, but it wasn't really truly complete until there were pictures of the baby wearing it, complete with yogurt smudges.

A very nice bit of mindless knitting, with stripes for visual interest. I carried the unused color down the inside, despite reading somewhere that one should only do that if there are three or fewer rows per stripe. In future I think I will restrict that method to shorter stripe repeats after all, and just resign myself to weaving in the extra ends. The end result would be neater.

My new project for him is Lottie's Basic Doll Body. I keep stumbling over the advice that it's a good idea to let toddlers have a doll to play with, to practice social play and dressing and etc. I am a big fan of dolls, so I'm game. A friend bought me some Lion Brand Fun Fur in a color reasonably similar to Silas' hair, and I'm using two strands of RHSS Aran held together down together for the body. Of course that means that it's coming out huge, but that's alright.

I'm still working my way through "Rilla of Ingleside," it being my bathroom reading means that it takes a little longer for me to finish it. I've reached the sock knitting! The indomitable Susan says her allowance is one sock a day. I wonder if Ms. Montgomery truly knew someone who dedicated themselves to that speedy of an output of socks for the soldiers, or if it was a bit of creative license on her part. 

Rilla is described as 'knitting four and purling one's and then later in the chapter as 'purling four and knitting one' so unless the author was giving a subtle hint that our heroine was very mixed up in her knitting, it sounds like she knitted the leg flat to be seamed at the end. The same method is alluded to in the American Girl book "Molly Learns a Lesson," wherein Molly's classmates decide to knit socks for the soldiers.  By the time Molly convinces them that they've overreached themselves (sock heels being very tricky to turn, after all), they all have large squares knitted.  In the end they seam them together into a blanket for the Red Cross instead.  As far as I've seen in historical sources this wasn't the common way to make socks, so I suspect the writers weren't sock knitters themselves.  I have seen sock patterns that work this way, but they're usually modern socks designed to allow for intarsia, which doesn't work in the round.  According to Ravelry, "Knitting America" has the original patterns socks written to be made for soldiers in WWI and WWII.  I've put it on my Amazon wishlist.  If you just want a quick sock for any man in your life that has Rilla's 'knit 4, purl 1' pattern, Thuja by Bobby Ziegler makes a nice heavy sock.  The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn.
My brother says he pulls out the pair I knitted for him when it's really, really cold out.  I imagine if that's the case he's had reason to wear them the last couple of days.

I should really pester him for a better picture - bless his heart, he couldn't figure out why I had knit the second sock so differently from the first until I told him that it was inside-out.

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