Friday, December 7, 2012

Cold Weather & Warm Socks

The concert on Sunday also went very well.  Some thought that the little string group did an even better job on their two numbers.  The whole experience was very rewarding, and I'm so pleased with the enormous progress they have made since September.

On Wednesday I took them to a local Seniors' Residence for a 45 minute afternoon concert.  We were missing two of our good violin players, but the group played well.  We were also hampered by a low ceiling just in that particular area, a very "sound absorbing" ceiling, so we never sounded very loud.  But the audience was really appreciative.

Wednesday was pretty warm, hovering right around the freezing point, and that's a help when you are transporting instruments and stands, etc.  But Thursday the temperature started dropping.  Jim and I bundled up well and walked into town to visit the post office and the library.  The wind was from the northeast as we walked in (mainly on our backs) and we were fortunate that by the time we walked back the wind had almost completely died down.  It was really cold on the way home!  Time for hot chocolate when we got there.  This morning our official temp is -24ºC, but the thermometer on the balcony is registering -29ºC.  We are almost always colder than the official temp because we are at a low spot on our road.  

These days I'm finding that my mind is too occupied with all my duties, and I have no space for the sweater that I've been trying to finish.  It involves following a chart closely to get the colour work right.  But I do like to have something handy to knit while watching t.v. or just sitting relaxing.  So I picked up two balls of sock yarn that had been given to me.  They are the same kind of yarn, Paton's Kroy Sock yarn, a nice yarn to work with, but are different colour ways, both striped, with some of the same blues in each ball.  Since it takes one whole ball (50 gram) to make one sock, I decided to make a pair using the two different stripes together in each sock.  I do have pictures, and will post them when the picture upload thing gets straightened out.

On my first attempt I was knitting three or four rounds in one yarn and then switching to the other, but the joining area where the two yarns met was not nice.  It just wasn't working well.  And then I remembered something I had read once about knitting stripes and decided to rip out what I had knit and start over.  The new method is working like a charm!

It works this way:  at a certain point, introduce the new yarn and knit two of the needles with the new ball, which I am thinking of as the right-hand ball. Then go back, pick up the first yarn, or the left-hand ball, and knit one needle.  Switch to the r.h. yarn and knit one needle, switch to the l.h. yarn and knit one needle.  You never have the awkward switch from one yarn to the other!  They just chase each other around the sock seamlessly.

By the way, I always use five needles to knit socks in the round.  That means the stitches are held on four needles and can be evenly divided, two needles for the sole and two needles for the top of the foot.  The fifth needle is the active one used to create the new round of stitches.

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