Thursday, October 30, 2008

Turns out I still knit socks.

Between "I'm no longer interested in doing a lot of fancy work on socks that are hidden by pants and shoes," and "Stockinette socks are cute, but they sure are boring to knit," and "How many pairs of handknit socks does one person need, anyway?" (my count: 23) I was beginning to think my sock-knitting days were over, at least for a while. But then I got a case of cold feet (literally), and, suddenly, socks were appealing again. Before I knew it, I had finished three pairs of socks during Socktoberfest, without even meaning to.

First up, Spina di Pesce by Yarnissima (buy the pattern here or through Ravelry).
Spina di Pesce

My Ravelry Project
Wollmeise yarn in "Tiefer See" [Deep Lake], the dark version

I started these back in March and knit the first one straight through, but then knew I would need a break. This sock also possibly led to the feeling of "All that? For a sock?" I was also worried that I had knit it too tight and too tall (even though I firmly believe Wollmeise socks should be tall), so I shoved it in a closet and forgot about it. But then I pulled it out and tried it on, and, yeah, it's a little difficult to get on, but it fits pretty well, and, for a tall sock, might just stay up. So I knit the other one, which came out slightly larger, even though I'm pretty sure I used the same needles. I guess I've mellowed out lately. The camera picks up on the skin showing through in spots more than is obvious in real life. Also, it doesn't define the cables that well, but they look sharp in person. I'd definitely knit another Yarnissima pattern.

Then there's the Retro Rib socks by Evelyn Clark, from Interweave's Favorite Socks.
Retro Rib Socks

My Ravelry Project
Koigu, with leftover Wollmeise for the contrast toes

My husband bought this Koigu for me late this summer. He had a work appointment on the same block as the Shabby Sheep in Dallas, and came home with yarn -- six skeins of Koigu. He said he didn't even ask for or accept any help in the yarn store, this is just what he picked out, because he was concerned I hadn't been knitting lately. He's a good boy. So I cast on for these socks, got a couple of inches into the cuff, and then left them in the Jeep for a while. I just wasn't feeling it. But now they're finished and soo soft. Once again, I knit a tall cuff, which meant I ran out of yarn before finishing, but some leftover Wollmeise saved the day.

And last, but certainly not least, while I was enjoying my handspun socks in New Mexico, I decided I needed another pair right away. Luckily, I didn't even have to wait to spin the yarn, because I had some lovely Fleece Artist spun by Karen at String Theory that I received in the HHHH swap. So, following some tricks I learned from the Yarnissima pattern, I whipped up some plain ribbed socks.
String Theory Socks
String Theory Socks

The color in the first photo is more accurate (and, look!, it matches my sock bag).
My Ravelry Project

I even knit a sock for my husband!
Genteleman's Fancy Sock

See Ravelry for details.

But he's going to have to wait a little while for the second, because I'm busy trying to finish Mom's lace. My Nancy Bush Estonian lace book should be here tomorrow, and I have some lovely silk lace yarn that I've been hoarding, and I'm sure I'll want to cast on for something ASAP.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Catching up

I missed blogging last week because we were on vacation in New Mexico, and, even though I had internet and a camera, I didn't bring any means of transferring pictures from camera to computer. Which is probably just as well, because the ol' laptop is slow, anyway, and it doesn't react well to large photo files.


We had a relaxing time, though, and I got a lot of knitting done. I had planned on taking the spinning wheel, but we decided to bring the dogs along rather than board them, and to take the truck instead of the Jeep, and in the end, the spinning wheel wasn't practical to bring along. I think the dogs had a good time, though, and we enjoyed having them with us. They especially liked feeling the wind in their faces as we drove around some National Forest roads.

Duke Duch Smiley

You may notice on the sidebar that a lot of things are getting completed, or close to it, around here. I'm knitting much faster than I can blog, and the UFOs are turning into FOs at a pleasant rate. In the interest of accountability, I've even dug up all of the UFOs that I've tucked away here and there and added them to Ravelry, so that I won't forget to finish them while I'm on this mad knitting kick. The sheer length of that WIP list would drive me batty if so many of them weren't finished and awaiting a good blogging, or close to it.

Speaking of FOs awaiting their blog time, let's get to it. Before I left, I had unearthed and finished Laminaria (Ravelry, my project details).


I made the full-size shawl, as I felt that the only other triangular shawl I've ever made was a bit on the small side. Or, I should say, the only other shawl I've ever completed, because I've knit 95% of a massively huge one that I know now I will never bother to finish, since this one is a bit on the large side.


The yarn itself, Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk, has a rustic quality to it that I like. It's a cabled yarn, meaning in this case that it's two two-ply yarns plied loosely together. While knitting, the plied yarns sometimes wanted to split, and when you're doing, say, a three into nine increase, that can be a little annoying, but I lived through it. I chose the color to be more informal, and I think I achieved that, but I still don't know if I'll ever wear it.


I did make one small change to the pattern, adding an extra eyelet to the edging chart to avoid the alien head effect. Of course, now I just see an alien with a hole between its eyes.


All in all, it's a pretty object, it was a delightful pattern to knit, and I'm proud of myself for making it, whether I wear it or not.

Now, if you'll excuse me, the city has spent the last several minutes moving lots of heavy equipment onto our street, and I must go investigate what they're up to. And it's been hours since I have watched CNN.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Look who's blocking

I pulled this out of the closet on Saturday, and I have been obsessed from then until I cast off the last stitch this afternoon.

Laminaria Blocking Laminaria Blocking

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


This may be a new record for me -- start to finish sweater in two weeks? It helps that it's a cropped sweater with elbow-length sleeves.

Ballet Wrap Ballet Wrap
Only for you, dear readers, will I take a picture of myself from behind.

Pattern: Ballet Wrap, by Norah Gaughan, Interweave Knits, available at the Knitting Daily store
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas Suri Merino in Crimson, from the stash
Needles: US 6 for the body, US 5 for the ribbing
Mods: No tie sash and therefore no split back, shortened sleeves to elbow length

Overall I'm pretty happy with it. It's a little big in the shoulders, but that's what happens when I knit to my bust size, and I honestly didn't know how to modify it without rewriting the whole pattern, so I'm just going to live with it. Right now it kind of balances out my belly instead of showing it off, but by the time I'm ready to wear it I'll probably appreciate that.

Ugh, no more pictures of me for a while. I'm giving myself a complex.