Saturday, December 21, 2013

Socks: done, started, yarn purchased.

I never did put up the photos of the finished Scylla socks that I made for my friend Dan, so I thought I'd show them now. It feels like I finished them ages ago, but according to their Ravelry project page, they were finished a mere week and a half ago. It's really a nice pattern: the repeats are easy to memorize and the heel is my favorite toe-up solution. And while the socks look a little more red than brown in the photo, I still like how they turned out. Even better is that they actually fit the recipient, which makes me very happy.

With that project finished, I needed another portable project to work on, so I finally cast on the Zirkel socks again. This time I'm doing them in the cream with a contrasting semi-solid yarn, rather than the self-striping I'd mistakenly chosen the first time. They're coming along so much better this time! I'm also doing them one at a time, on double-pointed needles. It almost feels like I'm learning to knit again, what with the dpns and the colorwork. Since this is stranded, I'm carrying one yarn in my left hand, picking, and carrying the other in my right hand, throwing. My tension seems to be getting better too, especially since I decided to do the side spacing in stripes, rather than having a 5 (or more) stitch float at the end of the repeat. I don't have a deadline for these socks, so I'm going to take my time on them. Maybe they'll be done by spring?

Lastly, I thought I'd put up pics of the yarn I bought while I was in Ft. Wayne over Thanksgiving. You might remember that I'd taken all kinds of photos, and then lost them. I took new pics this week of the two skeins I picked up: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Camouflage and Black Trillium Fibre Studio Merilon Sock in Earth. They're both a little darker than what I usually choose, but I needed to get more masculine colors into my stash. I seem to have a lot of pretty greens and pinks in my stash, most of which aren't superwash and don't make good gifts for men. I'm sure at least one of the new skeins will become socks for my husband and the other will likely be for a friend to whom I promised a pair of socks for his next birthday. I guess I should get on that - his birthday is in February.

So that's it for now. Merry Christmas! Until next time, Friends.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Kingdom for a Button! (With apologies to W. Shakespeare)

I can't be the only knitter who's fussy about buttons, right? I mean, if you're going to put a couple months and 100-ish dollars into a project, you can't just slap any old thing on it. I think I went to something like 4 stores before I found some acceptable buttons for my Rafters cardigan.

First, while I was in Fort Wayne over Thanksgiving, I checked in at Knitting Off Broadway for buttons. They have a great selection of buttons - sadly, the ones I liked for this project were too small. Then yesterday morning I went to Sophie's Fine Yarn (I'd gotten the buttons for my Zori cardigan there). Right away I found buttons that were a perfect color match for this sweater. Yay, right? Nope. They were too big for the buttonholes and I wasn't about to re-knit that band. Luckily, I found the same color in the right size, except there were only 4 buttons for my 5 buttonholes. Argh! There were plenty of other buttons that were almost right, but not quite, so I was off to the next store, The Smocking Shop. They didn't have any buttons that were right for my cardigan, but they had plenty that would be great for heirloom hand-sewn items like christening gowns and caps. But something they did have was an employee who knew of a local artist who makes buttons and where to find her. While I was in the shop she called the artist and asked if it would be alright to send me to her home for some buttons (I wasn't so sure about this, but this is Kentucky and a lot of people would think this is No Big Deal.). In any event, the artist said she was delivering some buttons to one of my favorite gallery shops, Edenside Gallery, just that moment, and I could sort through the buttons there.

Before I left the east end of town, I went up the road to Joann Fabrics, just in case they might have what I was looking for. As much as I try to buy as many of my supplies as possible from locally-owned businesses, sometimes you just have to go to a chain store. It turns out they had just the right buttons for this sweater: the right color, the right size and simple enough that they would not distract from the gorgeous cables which are rightly the focus of this sweater.

I saved the stop at Edenside for last because it's been one of my favorite shops ever since I came to Louisville. They have all kinds of gorgeous ceramics and glass and metalwork and jewelery, lots of it made by local artists. I've bought gifts there for friends and I've bought more than a few things for myself. I think their shop is one of the few places where someone could buy me anything and it would be right. (Not that that's a hint, or anything. Not really.) Anyway, I took my time looking around the shop, coveting everything, and managed to overlook the buttons I'd gone in for. Once one of the ladies pointed them out to me, I decided quickly that they would be perfect for my next sweater project, Streymoy, from the most recent Knitty. The buttons are made from acorn caps that the artist, Lindsay Frost, has filled with lichen and epoxy. They're quite charming, and are much less twee in person than their description implies. After my husband saw them, he liked them as well, so I'm pretty excited to be able to use them on his new sweater.

Well, that's all for now, Friends. Next time I'll have photos of the finished Scylla socks and the beginning of the Zirkel socks I've started. Until then.

Monday, December 2, 2013

I got out of the house for a minute.

Last Thursday was Thanksgiving here in the US, so I was in Fort Wayne (Indiana) for the holiday. I had planned on just staying for a couple days, but once the Simply Socks Yarn Co. announced that the Yarn Harlot would be in town for some workshops and a lecture, I decided I could extend my visit long enough to go the lecture. As she was speaking on Saturday evening, it gave me a chance to finally go to the store and check out all their yarns in person. I'd been wanting to do this for a long time, but the shop is only open on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and I never seemed to be there when the shop was open.

I got to the shop about 90 minutes before closing time, hoping to be able to take a couple laps around before I had to make any decisions. The shop is in a building that had been a post office when I lived in the neighborhood more than 20 years ago. It still had all the glazed tiles on the walls and the terazzo flooring at the front where the service windows once were, but all the interior walls had been removed and replaced with colorful, squishy, glorious yarn! Right up front was a great big selection of Madelinetosh yarns, in the DK and the sock yarn and Alchemy, Dream in Color and Three Irish Girls on the left. There were so many, many yarns I wanted,  but I managed to exercise a little restraint and only bought one skein of Lorna's Laces sock and one of Black Trillium Fibres Merillon sock. Any others I want I can order online now that I've felt it up in person.

I had been hoping to complete my Rafters cardigan in time to wear it at the lecture, but, sadly, it wasn't even close. A week ago, I thought I might be able to knit up the sleeves and button band in time. I was so wrong! I only managed to get about 1/3 of the sleeves done (both sleeves at the same time), and it wouldn't have mattered if I'd gotten the button band done since I didn't even have any buttons. I just really wanted to have a show-offy sweater to wear to meet the Yarn Harlot. I ended up wearing my Zori cardigan and getting lots of compliments on it from all the nice knitters who were in attendance. One person even went so far as to say she wanted to make it for herself, as she liked the traveling stitches in the yoke. I'm glad to hear it - there are only 5 Ravelry project pages for it, so it'll be nice to have another one out there in the world.

After I finished up at the yarn shop, I went down a couple doors to a little coffee shop that's in an old converted firehouse. I needed to kill a little time before the lecture, and I wasn't the only knitter with that idea - I met some women from Anderson and from Indianapolis who had come up for the day. I made a little more progress on the sleeves of my cardigan and had a nice chat with Luke the Barista about how many people had paid to go to IPFW to hear a lady talk about knitting. He was completely astonished that so many people would come from so far for such a thing. But when I brought up how far people will travel for gaming cons and stuff like that, it seemed to make sense to him. This was something the Yarn Harlot touched on in her speech too, which was in turns enlightening, touching and hilarious and to which I can't do justice here. Let me just say that if you have the chance to go to one of her appearances or take one of her workshops, do it. You won't be sorry. There is a reason she makes her living doing this: she is good at what she does.

And on that note, I'll consider this post finished. I've nearly finished the Scylla socks, but I'll leave the details until next time. Until then, Friends.

P.S. When I wrote this post, I thought I had a whole lot of photos to support the text, even one of myself that I liked with the Yarn Harlot. Sadly, I had a Windows 8-related problem importing the pics and may or may not be able to recover them. If I can get them, I'll post them, otherwise, y'all are just going to have to trust me when I tell you I had good photos.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Slow & Steady as she goes.

Holy smokes! It's been two weeks since I posted last. I can't really say that I've had that much going on, so I'm a little surprised so much time has passed. Anyway, I've made good progress on my Rafters cardigan: I've completed the waist shaping and only have the bottom border to do before I can start on the sleeves and the collar/buttonband. The cardigan doesn't really have any ease right now, but I think that once the button band is on and I can get the whole thing washed and blocked, the cables will loosen up some and I'll end up with about 1.5" of positive ease. I'm still in love with the color and I can't say enough about how soft this yarn is. I just want to pet it all day long. The cat is still in love with it too. Today he was rubbing his face on it and licking the bag I store it in. He's a strange little beastie.

I've also made progress on Dan's Scylla socks. I finally turned the heel this week, and now only have the leg to finish. The great part of that is that the stitch pattern knits up quickly, without a whole lot of thought. Since Dan's so tall, I'm just going to knit until I run out of yarn. We'll see in a hurry whether I divided the hank evenly.

So it's a short post tonight, Friends. Thanksgiving is coming up soon, and there's a chance I'll get to see the Yarn Harlot when I'm home in Fort Wayne for the holiday. I'll probably limit myself to the Saturday night lecture and skip the classes. I'll post pics if it happens. Until next time.

Monday, November 4, 2013

WIP it good.

All my WIPs continue apace. I seem to be a little all over the place lately with my projects, but somehow, bit by bit, they're progressing.

This week I managed to get to the halfway point in the Hanami stole. I'm really happy with how it's coming along. I like that the beads have given it some heft (as hefty as seed beads can be on an alpaca/silk lace stole) and I think it's going to drape beautifully once it's finished. I hope I have some occasion to wear it. Maybe I'll get invited to a wedding. Or maybe we'll go to the ballet. Or something. Of course, I'm not sure I have anything to wear with it, so I'll have to get on that.

Knitting. Tasty, tasty, knitting.

I've also made progress on my Rafters cardigan. Just this morning I completed the front shaping and now I'm ready to get everything all joined up for some progress on the body. It looks a little small right now, but I think that's because so many of the sweaters I've made for myself have turned out too big. Even if it's a bit small now, I'm pretty sure that blocking will relax some of the tightness in the cables. So long as I get gauge on the sweater as a whole, I'll have about an inch of ease.

Since my last couple posts I've frogged the blue socks for my friend, Dan, and started a new pair for him. I'm doing the Scylla pattern again, this time with a skein of Mountain Colors Crazyfoot I've had in my stash for awhile. In the skein, the yarn looked a lot more brown than it's knitting up. In the socks, I'm seeing more jewel tones, but I think it's still masculine. I hope he'll be cool with it. This is my commuting-and-waiting-in-line knitting and it's moving right along. I've probably got another two weeks with it before it's finished.

Of course, with three projects on the needles (four, if you count my unfinished Halloween costume), it looks like I'm not going to be doing any Christmas knitting. There just won't be any time. I have a feeling I'm still going to be baking up a storm, but it's already too late to be in time for Christmas. I will, however, be scouring my house for just the right contribution to our family's Dirty Santa exchange.

On that note, I'll sign off for now. Until next time, Friends.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Knitting keeps me humble.

Seriously. Every time I get even a little bit cocky about my ability to do something knitting-related, knitting puts me right back in my place. Case in point: effing cables.

I've made plenty of things with cables: socks, gloves, hats, sweaters. Lots. Of. Stuff. Then I started on the back of the Rafters cardigan.

It's kind of hard to tell, but the braids on the left have a mistake.

See this picture? Take a good look at the cables on the left side. Notice they're a little different than the ones on the right side? Yeah. I messed them up. I seem to have repeated a row without noticing for like three rows.

Here's a closer look at my lesson in humility.

I didn't want to unknit the cables I'd gotten right, so I decided that I'd just undo the 6 stitches down 'til I got to the mistake and fix each cable individually. It worked pretty well, I think. It only took me 30 minutes or so to fix, which wasn't so bad. I just had to apply myself.

Left braid fixed, center & right braids up next.

Once I got the cables uncrossed I was able to fly right along on the back of the sweater. I'm about to start the increases for the underarms and then I think I'll get to start the fronts of the sweater pretty soon thereafter. It's really starting to cool off here, so another lovely, soft wool sweater will be great to put into rotation.

That's all the yarn, & the heels aren't even turned.

Another lesson in humility was this pair of simple vanilla socks that I'm making for a friend. Who happens to wear size 15 shoes. When I looked at the yarn in the ball, I thought I had plenty. If I'd looked at the project page for my husband's aran-weight socks, I'd have seen that I used two balls of this yarn to make his, and he only wears a size 11.5. So I've contacted my friend to see if he'd rather have the thick socks, for which I'll need to order more yarn; or thinner socks, the yarn for which I already have in a quantity to make a pair. I guess I can start winding the yarn for the thinner socks. I have a long work-related meeting tomorrow, so I'll need something to work on that won't require too much attention for a little while.

Well, that's all I have for now. Until next time, Friends.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Too many things on the needles!

It finally feels like fall here in Kentucky, and with the change in the temperatures, I've found myself casting on lots of projects. Since I last posted, I've swatched for and cast on Rafters, made one bad "chain mail" hood/cowl, and completed an acceptable "chain mail" hood/cowl.

I've been making good progress on my husband's Java socks, with just about an inch or so to go before I can do the toe decreases and sew the ends shut. I'm still very happy about the colors - they're gorgeous -and I like how the variations in the colors are distributing themselves around the feet. I can't wait for my husband to have another pair of toasty hand knit socks!

As for the Hanami stole, the progress is a lot slower. Here, I've been plodding along, doing a few rows here, a few there, generally trying to get through a set of beading or two before I set it down. The stole is beginning to look more like the pattern and I like how the beads are giving a little weight to the fabric. I'll be glad to get though this section though, and move on to a zippy stretch of stockinette.

My new sweater project, Rafters, is from the current issue of Twist Collective. I'm using the yarn I bought while I was in Michigan this summer, and I love what I've knit up so far. I had to go down a needle size to achieve the required stitch gauge, and though my row gauge is a little bit off, the designer has kindly written the pattern to specify lengths, rather than numbers of rows, so I should be just fine. I'm probably not going to use this project as commuting or meeting knitting, as the cables will require my close attention, especially since I'm doing the first two charts at the same time.

Lastly, now that it's October, I've been thinking about Halloween, and what I should do for a costume. In years past I've been Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas and Buttercup from The Powerpuff Girls, making both costumes myself. I hadn't really planned on dressing up this year, but since I was invited to a party, I thought it would be fun to have something new. One of my favorite movies of all time is Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and my favorite Python is Michael Palin, so I decided that this year I would dress up as Sir Galahad the Chaste, complete with chain mail, tunic, sword, and shield.

So far I've only gotten the hood/cowl completed, and only after having made a really bad one out of a too-bulky acrylic. I used the Utah Shakespearean Festival pattern that I found on Ravelry. For the first one I followed the pattern closely, knitting it flatas directed, but I used a yarn much too bulky to look like it could be chain mail. It's pretty lame. For the second one, I used a cotton worsted-weight yarn (Bernat Handicrafter Cotton DeLux) generally intended for washcloths, but which I thought might drape a little more like metal than an acrylic or wool would. Using a thinner yarn made such a difference! The fabric is much more open, and if I can add just a hint of metallic color on top of it, it could look a little like tarnished metal. At least from a distance, anyway.

Well, that about catches us up for now. I still have to make myself a tunic, shield and sword in addition to some chain mail sleeves in time for Halloween, but it should be simple knitting and simple sewing, so I'm not all that worried. The shield and sword will take a little more doing, but I have access to lots of cardboard at work, so I just hope to be able to make those without too much trial and error. I'll post as I have more progress. Until next time, Friends.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

MUCH better, thank you.

These new socks are coming along a whole lot better than the other ones. I mean, A WHOLE LOT BETTER. The pattern is the Java socks from the Winter 2011 Knitty. I'm sure a big part of why these socks are coming out so well is that I'm actually following a pattern as written, but I think another reason is that these socks have an 84-stitch round. It's only 4 stitches more than the other socks, but there's a world of difference in how the colors are pooling. Like, almost not pooling at all. It's very subtle.

I still have a few more inches to go before I turn the heel, and the pooling will definitely change as I work on the gussets, so there's that to look forward to. I'm not especially worried about it, but I like the way the legs are coming out, and I hope the foot will look as good.

So tonight's post is a short one. I hope I'll have more to tell next time. Until then, Friends.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

These socks are fugged up.

So I'm starting over.

I had gotten the heel turned this afternoon, and when my husband got home from work he tried them on.

They were awful! The fit was poor, and I have no one to blame but myself. I noticed that the row gauge on the soles was different than the tops of the feet, but I soldiered on. I made a mistake on the gussets, but I kept going. The heel flaps were actually alright, they just didn't work. I cut my losses. I ripped them out.

The only positive about this project is that I love the colors of this yarn, so I'm just going to try a new pattern. I've cast on for the Java socks, which I hope will come out right and look good in this yarn. We'll have to cross our fingers. My husband would have worn the fugly socks, but he deserves the best socks. Ones that fit. And look good. And ones that I won't be embarrassed to admit that I made.

I hope to have better news the next time I post. Until then, Friends.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My first attempt at beaded laciness.

I've been home from the lake for about a week, and what a week it's been. More changes at work, but at least it was only 4 days long since it's Labor Day weekend here in the US.

I took the yarn, beads and pattern to make the Hanami Stole with me to Michigan. I've had the Silky Alpaca Lace in my stash for what feels like ages (I've had it for two and a half years), and it's been intended for this project the whole time. I bought the beads for it while I was in Indianapolis in April for the Carmel Sprint Triathlon, perfectly matched to the cherry blossom pink of the yarn. Once I'd had a little time in the water, and a few cocktails, I decided the time was right to finally cast on.

The pattern called for a beaded cast on, which is something I've never done before. It also said to make sure I had a crochet hook small enough to fit through the bead. Luckily, I have my mother's set of teeny, tiny steel hooks that she brought with her from Japan when she came to the United States in 1970. Before she married, she made lots of doilies with crochet thread. I think she still has them at her house. I had to use the size 8 needle, which I understand has a .90mm hook. It looks a lot like the torture devices my dental hygienist uses when I go for a cleaning. What's even scarier is that I have two hooks even smaller, with .75mm and .6mm hooks. I'm sure I don't want to see the thread appropriate for any of them.

Anyway, I got through the beaded cast on alright, but I realized that I'd bought way more beads than the pattern called for, and that I wasn't ever going to use them for anything else. After reading the pattern through at least twice, I decided that I'd use beads in the "basketweave" section of the stole, placing one for every place that I had a centered double decrease. Adding these beads every so often certainly slows down the knitting, but I think that the stole will be prettier for it in the end. I got through two chart repeats while I was on vacation, but since I've been home I've gotten through exactly 4 rows. This is going to take awhile, I think, especially since I'm not about to work on this on my way to work. I'm just glad I don't have a deadline!

So, that's it for now, Friends. Until next time.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Another trip to the mill.

On Thursday my husband I went to East Jordan, Michigan, so I could get a sweater's worth of yarn at Stonehedge Fiber Mill. Ever since I worked with their worsted weight for the CookieA sample knitting, and their DK on my Zori sweater, I've been wanting to knit another sweater from their yarn. The perfect pattern presented itself in Rafters, by Stephanie Tallent, and once I added up how much I'd need, we headed out to the farm.

We had a lovely drive there, once we got through the traffic jam in Traverse City. It seems like everyone is trying to get in their last bits of summer fun before Labor Day, just like we are. As we got a little farther up the road, the traffic cleared out and we drove past lovely fruit orchards and smaller lakes. As we pulled into the driveway at the mill, their little black farm cat came over to greet us. This is the same little guy we met last year, still just as deaf, but still as fond of ear skritches as last time. Anyway, the shop door was closed, so I pet our little friend until the owner came by and showed me in. She said the door was closed because the goats couldn't be trusted not to eat the yarn. She told me that one of them had eaten a check from a customer - actually snatched it out of her hand and ran away!

Once I got inside, I was able to choose a color pretty quickly - I'd been thinking I wanted a heathered purple, and there were two skeins of pansy front and center. After a quick look at it in the sunshine, I asked for 10 skeins, which she had to get from the mill shed. She hadn't twisted the hanks, but no matter. She added an extra tie to them so they'd make the trip home safely. I can't wait to start on this sweater! Of course the search for buttons will be kind of a pain, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there. I'm looking forward to all those pretty cables and the shawl collar, too.

Once we bought my yarn, we decided to go to Bellaire to the Short's Brewing Company pub. They make a variety of really tasty beers and my husband knew that they had a restaurant, so we took it in our way home. I had a delicious (and big!) avocado BLT and their Kolsch 45. It was so good! My husband had the Reuben sandwich and one of the IPAs. I took a picture of him with his sandwich, but he didn't want a picture of himself while he was eating posted to the internet, so you get to see my sandwich instead. I also took a picture of the beer board, just so you can see all the options. These guys aren't fooling around. If you're in the area, check them out.

Well, that's all I've got for tonight. We're headed home in the morning, so there's lots to do tonight before we leave. Until next time, Friends.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Everything's better at the lake.

Five hundred year-old book with really long sentences? Better at the lake. Yep, I'm in Michigan, enjoying the water, the sun and tonight, a magnificent storm. I'm also enjoying that I don't have good cell phone reception up here, which adds to my feeling of peaceful solitude. My phone did go off while I was on a bike ride this afternoon - I was so surprised to hear my phone ring, I actually answered it! It was work-related, but it was an easy call. Yay, easy.

Since I had a good 7 hours or so in the car as part of this trip, I've made a fair bit of progress on my husband's Gentleman's Sock. These socks actually started out as a different Kristi Schueler pattern, but I didn't like how the colors in my gorgeous Knitivity yarn (color: Cat's Paw Nebula) were pooling. I ended up ripping them out and starting over. There's still pooling, but it's softened a little by the stitch patterning. There's a sort of mock cable going on with the top of the foot and the sole of the foot is knit with the "eye of partridge" patterning, which is sort of pixelating the pooling. Of course, I'm not following the pattern exactly: I'm doing them toe-up, and I'll use my favorite heel as well. I'm only really working on these while I'm in the car, so I'm not sure when I'll get around to turning the heel, but once I do, the cuffs will practically knit themselves.

I've also done a little yarn shopping, with a little more yet to do. Our route to the lake cottage always takes us through the little village of Suttons Bay, Michigan, which is home to the Thistledown Yarn Shoppe. Every year we come up, I stop in and buy yarn. This year (same as last year) I picked up a couple skeins of Shibui Sock yarn to use on the Zirkel pattern. This is the pattern I'd tried once already, the one that didn't work with the yarn I had in my stash. It's hard to believe, I know. Anyway, that problem's been fixed, so once I can finish the Gentleman's Socks, I'll get going on this one. I also picked up a skein of my favorite worsted sock yarn, Jarbo Garn Raggi. I love it because it's super wash and has some nylon in it too. I made boot socks for my husband a couple years ago (I think) and have been coveting them ever since. Now I'll get to have a pair for myself. Whee! The last pair of worsted-weight socks I had for my own were accidentally machine washed. As they weren't superwash, they felted down to child's size. It was sad. Ah, well. At least I like knitting.

Tomorrow it looks like we're going to make a trip out to Stonehedge Fiber Mill, where they make the lovely Shepherd's Wool yarn. I'm probably going to get a sweater's worth of the worsted-weight yarn so I can make the Rafters cardigan, by Stephanie Tallent, which is in the most recent issue of Twist Collective. I'm hoping for a nice, heathery purple, but I could go for a green as well. I'll just have to see what strikes my fancy. So that's it for tonight, Friends. Until next time.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A little stuffed lion.

I knit this little guy in about two evenings, seamed him in another, then put on his mane on. Four days from cast-on to finish. Not bad. Of course, now I have to figure out what I want to knit next. That's the trouble with finishing a project. I guess I'll start digging through my queue.

Until next time, Friends!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What's next?

I've just finished the Hummingbird socks. Like, 10 minutes ago, I bound them off, tried them on, and took pictures of them. I haven't even woven in the ends. I haven't decided whether I'll do that on the bus tomorrow morning, or if I'll do it tonight. Actually, I think I kind of have. Decided, I mean. I'm not feeling it tonight. I'll do it tomorrow.

Of course, tomorrow evening is my Knit Night, so I'll need to have something on the needles to work on while I'm there. I was thinking about casting on for a stuffed toy of some sort - I still have plenty of that Rowan Handknit Cotton left over from making those hats. I've also been thinking about knitting a fall or winter sweater of some sort. I have a whole lot of Cascade Ecological Wool, but that might be a heavier sweater than I want to wear. It could be good for something for my husband; I'll have to check with him. And of course there's all kinds of sock yarn in my stash, so I could make more socks, but I'm not sure I really feel like another pair of sock so soon. (Surprising, isn't it?) I guess I'll just grab something and start swatching. The ennui! It's a killer, man.

Maybe next time I'll have a little more to say for myself. Until then, Friends.

Monday, July 29, 2013

And once again, I'm knitting socks.

Yep. I finished my Alhambra scarf. It was so nice to have a project that had no deadline - just being able to pick it up or put it aside without the pressure to finish it has been really helpful with my work being so stressful the last couple of months. The scarf is just the right length, but I won't know its finished length until I block it, which probably won't happen until Christmastime. I'm sure this will end up as a gift for someone, but I haven't yet decided whose it will be.

Once I'd finished the scarf, I was casting about for my next project. After having done so many green projects lately (the Team Flora hats, the Alhambra scarf, the Portico shawl), I was feeling like a pink project might be the way to go. I had two skeins of a pink variegated Shibuiknits Staccato sock yarn in my stash, so all I needed to do was find a pattern that was right for it.

The first thing I did was look through all my books - I have seven books with sock patterns in them, and there was really only one pattern I wanted to knit. Sadly, it was a pattern that really needed a solid yarn, so I had to keep looking. After a Ravelry search, I thought I'd try Zirkel, by Stephanie van der Linden. It's a cute stranded pattern that turned out not to work with my chosen yarn, as the yarn had too much variation and obscured the colorwork. It was back to the drawing board.

After another look through the pattern books, I decided that I would knit Hummingbird again. It's been about a year and a half since I knit that pattern, and I remember that it knit up quickly. I thought that this time, just for kicks, I'd knit the socks toe-up with gussets and a heel flap, rather than cuff-down with a short row heel. I started a little more than a week ago, and I'm already doing the gusset increases. I'm sure it won't be long before these socks are finished.

Well, that's all I've got for today. Until next time, Friends.