Rogue (pic!), socks, Ingeborg, and bleeding eyes
True to my word, Rogue sleeve 2 now exists. Yay! It's not done, but I have finished the chart section. That means 50 rows, plus the 7 rows of hem.
It's sitting on top of the completed first sleeve. (The first sleeve looks skinnier because it's more curled. I haven't done a thorough size check, but there's no reason to believe that they're not close to exactly the same size when uncurled.) The skein of yarn to the left is the one I'm current working from, and the 6 on the top of the first sleeve are what I have leftover. When I was working on the body, I had this irrational fear that I was going to run out of yarn. I ordered more than enough, and the store that sold me the yarn rounded up from that generous amount I ordered in the first place. (The yarn is produced at a small mill, and they sell it by the ounce, not in prepackaged skeins. Still, they didn't need to be that generous. they rock.) I wondered if I had miscalculated what I'd need. Now it's plainly obvious that I have way, way more than I'll need. After the sleeve is done, all I'll need is some yarn for the finishing work. Don't know what I'll do with the extras. It's pretty rough stuff, so I don't think it's scarf material. It might make good hats. As it doesn't felt easily, I might use it for some sort of charity knitting. The hats wouldn't be the softest ever, but the yarn does get a bit softer with washing. And since it's not easily felted, it would be good for people who may not get special care instructions with the garment.
I haven't worked on the sock exchange sock since last week. It will get done - probably this weekend or early next week. So while I haven't been thinking about those socks a lot, I have been thinking about socks in general. I wore some of my toe up sock this weekend, and find myself more pleased with the wrap short rows than I was when I was knitting them. I think my biggest complaint about them is that one side of the heel or toe looks different than the other side. That bothered me a lot more while knitting them than while looking at the finished product long after the knitting was done. I inspected some socks at the sporting goods store this weekend, and I think that their short rows use the wrap method too. It's hard to tell, since the gauge is so tiny, but I think it looked like my heels do. I should go exploring in my sock drawer, to see what I find.
I briefly experimented with a figure 8 cast on. It was easier to start than I thought, though definitely fiddly. I had a lot of trouble tightening up the beginnings of it. I think the problem was the inherently splitty nature of sock yarn. It was hard to tighten the strands because it was hard to separate them accurately for good tugging. I might work on it some more, and I might also try the "easy toe" method. That one uses a short provisional cast on, which in my opinion is better than a long provisional cast on. (I hate picking up stitches from a provisional cast on. This is why I'm looking for toe-up methods that don't use one to a large extent.)
My other sock lesson from this weekend is that I think I'm going to not knit plain stockinette socks anymore. They look nice, but my pink Lorna's Laces socks shifted around way too much on my feet. They are snug enough on their own, but I think the lack of elasticity from the lack of ribbing really made them move around a lot more than they should have. I think that my "plain" socks are going to have a completely ribbed leg and a ribbed top of foot from now on. I think negative ease - even a considerable amount of it - can only do so much for a snug fit.
I want to say thanks for the Ingeborg input. I think I'm going to stick with my original decision to go with the cream and black main pattern. If I decide I'd rather have a more subtle colorway, I can always make another one, right? ;-)
A.'s mom gave me a bunch of old knitting catalogs this weekend. A couple of Knitpicks, a couple of Lion Brand, and a couple of others I hadn't heard of before. I was actually pleasantly surprised by the Knitpicks catalogs. I find their website annoying to navigate, so it's nice to have pictures and descriptions of all of their yarns in print. And for the most part, their pattern suggestions weren't too bad. When I have the money, I think I'm going to order a bunch of skeins for swatching. There are certain things about the company that make me uncomfortable, but I'm still curious about whether I'd like their yarns.
The Lion Brand catalogs, on the other hand, were scary scary scary! I've never seen a collection of such horrenous patterns all in one place. Some of them actually made me gasp. Does anybody really wear that stuff? I can concede that my tastes obviously differ from the tastes of other people, but I really think the design and yarn choices for most of the garments in there were piss poor. Ugly, impractical, expensive (novelty stuff is pricy), and almost comical exaggerations of trends that I think aren't that flattering without being coated in plastic fur. I used to get their catalog many moons ago, and I know the designs weren't as bad as they are now. They weren't my style back then, either, but at least they didn't make my eyes bleed.