Monday, May 31, 2010

Happy happy joy joy

I am so excited about today!

Mystery projects 1 and 2 are all tucked up in my bag to head off to the courier this morning, along with the Man Socks I will be knitting between (and, let's be realistic, during) commitments.

The entire afternoon is unbooked, allowing me several uninterrupted hours to head off someplace quiet and be crafty.

I've printed off a pattern for a tiny project I can finish in that time, and set aside the yarn and needles to make it with.

Assuming I get that done, I have a blanket stitch project all lined up for the evening. I love blanket stitch!

While I'm doing those, I get to dream up ideas for mystery project #3 - the one with the longer deadline.

Bonus: there is just enough and not too much ice cream in the freezer.

Super bonus: I have stuff to look forward to. I bought myself three presents to celebrate getting my driver's license, and they should be arriving sometime over the next couple of weeks.

Super duper bonus: They are all knitting-related. Ha! More details when they arrive.

Ah, it's good to be a knitter. Hope your Monday is as delightful!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Free to knit

Man, passing my driving test just freed up 10+ hours a week for knitting. I could have my carrot cardi done in no time!

Except that I'm now incredibly attached to the Man Socks. Seriously people: treat yourself to some Felix sometime. The fabric I'm getting out of it is just indescribably soft, never mind the nylon that makes it strong. Man is going to love these socks even more than I am loving knitting them.

And of course, what I really have to do is finish knitting Mystery Project #2 - today I hope - and write up two patterns with charts - this weekend, even if it means not sleeping, which it probably will.

Which is not to say that I'm not still spotting things that would distract me from deadlines, like the Master Knitting Program offered by The Knitting Guild of America. Apparently the three courses involve a lot of swatching which some people don't enjoy... I quite like it, myself. And wouldn't it be nice just to know how to do a lot of stuff instead of learning it on the fly as needed and having to sort through reference books and websites hoping they have the answer and try to figure it out on a project that matters instead of just some swatch?

(Why yes, I am still aware that nobody gave me a copy of The Principles of Knitting for Christmas, or my birthday, or any other big milestone like, oh, I don't know, passing my driver's test. In good news, I hear that the near-mythical reprint is actually being edited now.)

But mostly I feel like I'm leaping and drifting over all of this from a nice height, like a milkweed seed on a perfect breeze, because I don't have to practise driving any more! and I never have to take another road test!

la la laaaa, la la ice cream.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Na na na na na na na na Test Day

With apologies to Batman.

Okay - so, my bag is all packed up! Driver's license, credit card, Man Socks.

(No chocolate, but that's best since it's super hot out today and it would just melt all over the other stuff, not to mention the risk that I might weaken and pull it out for comfort nibbling in the middle of a three point turn or something.)

There should be something else, though... Gah! St. Christopher medals! Hang on -

Okay, those are safely in my pocket now. I am ready.

I'll be posting my test results later today over at the Procrastination Diary, so if you're feeling all invested in the outcome feel free to drop in.

What I'm really excited about today is that I made a good start on Mystery Project #2 last night. The yarn for it is just - wow. Yum. And no matter what happens this morning, I get to spend the rest of the week knitting it.

Even more exciting: I tried on the finished Mystery Project #1. I worried a lot about this one because it seemed like a great concept and the stitches worked when I did a small swatch but when I got working on the full-size version I worried pretty much the the whole time that they didn't work well together, and that the size would be wrong, and that the structure wasn't viable, and so forth. I really need to start listening to my gut more because this thing is awesome.

And potentially most exciting: as I drifted awake this morning I was thinking again about the project idea I'd had for our next mystery knitalong. I can't wait to get my hands on the needles and work out the details. Wouldn't it be great summer knitting to do a fun little project together?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Man socks commenced

Well, I'm committed now - unless I frog, of course. I used Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns to decide that given my gauge, the Man Socks should have 80 stitches. So I cast on, and isn't this a nice subtle stripe pattern?

The yarn is Felix, from Biscotte et Cie. Ridiculously soft, of course, but also sproingy enough to make me happy as I knit with it. Bonus: there is some nylon you can't feel at all but that will wear well, making my hard work last that little bit longer. And I really like the gentle blurring of these two colours.

I think Man will be very happy with these socks.

And having established that: am I going to be happy bringing 2x2 ribbing along to keep me calm in the moments leading up to my road test? Especially since this is the cuff and I've been knitting into the back of the knit stitches which is not really something I can sustain while nervous?


I'm going to have to knit past the cuff stage, I think, and get onto the smaller needles I'm using for the leg. It will still be 2x2 ribbing, but it will normal knit stitches that are easier to put back on the needle once dropped, as will almost certainly happen given shaking hands.

I just hope Mystery Project #2 understands and doesn't retaliate with mistakes and frogging all over the place once I finally get it started!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Decision time

All my holiday weekend knitting has paid off - I've finished Mystery Project #1!

Leaving me with Mystery Project #2 which is smaller, but not so portable. Which is to say that it would be if I was just knitting it from a pattern somebody else already worked out, but I'm not, so I can really only knit it at home.

Well, that's okay. I can be finished by the end of Friday even if I spend every day between now and then driving, which I won't, because I am definitely taking Thursday afternoon off after my test and I have the evenings free tonight and tomorrow night for knitting.

Which leaves me with one small problem:

Do I want to bring knitting along on Thursday morning? I'll have to wait for the examiner, you see, maybe about 20 minutes in my car after I've filled out all my forms and so on. Even 5 minutes is more than enough time for my intestines to transform themselves into meadows filled with happy butterflies fluttering hither and yon, so I will need knitting.

But I will also need to keep my mind clear and not tangled up in a pattern-making (or new pattern-reading) problem.

The obvious solution is socks, just not the socks I was planning to knit for myself, as they all have a pattern stitch I don't have time to make second nature before Thursday. I don't have time to do much more than cast on and go, really.

The decision:

Do these circumstances rule out the plain ribbed Man Socks? All I have to do for those is figure out how many stitches I want to cast on, and I already know the gauge I get, so I just have to guess at Man Sock Recipient's foot circumference (and then add on a bit for insurance, hence the commitment to ribbing.)

Or should I continue with the yoga sock festival I started when I was doing so much hospital visiting in March? The sock I'm on is nearly done, but I could certainly cast on for another and have a nice run of easy patterning for the entire waiting period.

H'mmmmmm. Well, one thing is certain - I'm not going to think about this while driving today. I need to focus!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Five hours for the Queen

There are now five hours between me and the blocking of Mystery Project #1, and being a non-rainy statutory holiday it's a perfect day for driving practise. GAH.

(also perfect for: planting, eating, seeing friends, running, hiking, more eating, putting in the air conditioner, vacuuming the month-old maple buds out of my car, and napping before fireworks.)

I will drive, because I am on test countdown now - 3 days, 3 hours - but I will forgo all the other delights of a holiday weekend and celebrate Queen Victoria's birthday with my fellow Canadians by knitting.

Apparently this isn't so inappropriate, because Queen Victoria was a knitter! Not surprising when you consider how long she held the throne - she had to be doing something relaxing, right?
Here is a picture of a bag she is thought to have knit, and if you can tell me how she worked out the stitches I'd be pleased to hear; the picture doesn't enlarge and it looks kind of tricky from this distance, to me.

Here is a little more information regarding her enthusiasm for knitting. Apparently she knit a blanket that is now in a museum - I'd love to see that. And she crocheted.

Royalty - they're just like us. Except for, you know, the real estate.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Wildly creative people

There were two swaps for Spring at Knitting and Tea and Cookies (the virtual knitting group loosely affiliated with this blog, and please do drop in if you are so inclined):

an individual one with a $10 limit, and

a group one where we were to send something Springy to everybody else who signed up for it.

There were just a few of us for that so it wouldn't be too expensive, but we put a $1 spending limit on to be sure... and you can imagine how hard it is to be creative with a tiny budget like that.

I found some cards from the New York Botanical Garden in a liquidation store (one of those fabulous shopping moments when you can't believe your luck), and made little flower pins with felted wool sweater scraps and embroidery thread and some machine stitching in the middles:

They were sort of interesting to mail, and required bubble wrap, and I hope they arrived with uncrushed pins.

Fun as it was to make those, it was even more so to see what other people thought of - everybody had a different idea, and they were all so cool!

A magnet with my screen name on it, a bright paperclip to mark my place on the index cards I use to cart around pithy instructions for the current portable knitting, seeds for my garden that are going in this weekend now that the risk of frost is past, bookmarks (you can see one of them went to work almost immediately on arrival), tea, spring and summer themed buttons, and the sweetest knitted flower bookmark!

That one hasn't been in a book yet because I've been using it as a kind of worry bead - the petals are squishy with alpaca and they are super, super soft and soothing.

I really love the swap process. It's a bit like a puzzle, working out what the person would like and how to do it with a strictish dollar limit, but it's also an excuse to craft whatever you feel like and still have it serve a purpose, and best of all - it's like shopping for the easiest person in the world because your giftee is likely to love a lot of the same stuff you do.

So I'll post here before we start the next one, and if you want to get in on the action, you're more than welcome!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The birds

This has been a swampy sort of week so it was really, really nice to be treated to a special swap present courtesy of a friend from Knitting and Tea and Cookies:

These birds (in cuddly, foodie, drawer-openy, and book form) are so perfect for the spring theme of this swap and I'm so thrilled with them... thank you so much Kathy!

Particular excitement: the pie bird. I have always wanted one. I love pie and have accumulated all the pie baking essentials you might need, including a special pie cutting and serving tool which I used for yesterday's quiche - but no pie bird! and now I do.

Maybe at the end of the month I will have time to bake a pie to celebrate. Or maybe to cry into: my driving test is a week from today.

Wondering how that is going?

Well, I still have not figured out how to knit and drive at the same time, but I have learned how to drive without panic and even to change lanes that way. I can get on and off the highway without indulging in my usual sound effects of ACK or gah! or eep, and seem not to have sprouted any new gray hairs as a result.

All of this puts me in good stead but what doesn't is the new discovery that I will almost certainly be asked at some point during the test to back into a parking space - uphill. Either in a parallel parky situation, or a between-two-cars-with-another-behind kind.

This of course means that just taking your foot off the brake is insufficient to move the car. One must also press the gas pedal, which in my otherwise lovely vehicle results in this:


So far, the jolt has not resulted in collision, but it did once put me up over the curb which is an instant fail if it happens during the test. So I have my work cut out for me, and that means a lot more of not knitting, just when I need it most.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The awesome spring sale

The church nearest me has two Awesome Sales every year and the Spring one was last weekend. The sale is always packed with people coming in from other parts of the city because they work hard all year sourcing donations of everything you can imagine to raise funds for various charities - plus, there is an Awesome Baked Goods Table. We won't discuss the Skor square I found there (but I might just mention that if you find a recipe for such a thing, I'd love the link.)

This is what I spotted in the craft section this time, for $2:

Do I need a barkcloth rollup storage thingy for straight needles, with a ton more needles in it?

Emphatically no.

But I like having them anyway, and I especially like the little ruler that was tucked inside:

Am I the only one who had these as a kid? There were several designs and colours you could snap together for one long ruler with lots of different stencils for shapes, letters, numbers, and borders. I used mine for homework so it's funny for me to think of it being used for gauge.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Still knitting

I had some great stuff lined up to share this week and then I got Struck Down


by a wicked nasty cold, so wicked and nasty I can't see straight enough to be able to knit. But I am determined to get some stitching in today anyway as soon as I can figure out how.

Unless you want more whining about how 'I cand breed wid diz doze' etc., I will make that the extent of my news for today except for this:

I owe fresh thanks to my friend Helena for sending me a little undyed superwash wool to use for swatching. I keep it on my desk all the time so that if I'm suddenly taken by the desire to work out a stitch sequence (this happens frequently) I have something nice and sproingy and fast to do that with, and today of all days - boy was that a nice treat. In fact I'm pretty amazed at how well it's holding up to all this attention.

And now I'd better go take some more meds for the hurty eye sockets and kneecaps because even though you wouldn't think you need those things in good shape for knitting, apparently I do.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Man socks redux


Bob (he of secondary Man Socks interest) is in town and dropped in last night, and I managed to get him to let me measure his feet without my having to say too much about why.

Well, he did ask what his foot measurement had to do with the winter hat I had just shown him, but he seemed satisfied with the explanation "pretty much nothing, Bob," before I went back to making glacier-like progress on the Mystery Project.

It's good to have a friend who will let you measure his feet when you have an excess of both sock yarn and pattern potential, isn't it?

(probably not as good as making raging waterfall-like progress on a Mystery Project, though. I'm guessing here, but I think that would be pretty awesome.)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Nose, grindstone, etc.

Did I mention the mystery projects I've got going on? There were two, and now there are three, though the third can remain for now in the idea stages.

The other two, interestingly, have a deadline that coincides almost perfectly with my driving test. The one that's scheduled for two weeks from today (plus about 4 hours, as I type.)

Not only have I run into a few decision-requiring moments in the process of the one on the needles now - the second not having been so much as swatched yet - but ordinary life stuff keeps coming up and eating an hour or two here and there, which pretty much sums up why my Baby Surprise Jacket is still sitting hopefully in its project bag, waiting for me to cast it on again.

And I do have to cast it on again, not least because I realized I have another friend with an imminent baby arrival for whom I would like a second one, and you can't knit a second one without knitting the first, right? Or maybe there is a way around that and if so please tell me because I am getting

a little concerned

about the time. Which keeps passing. How is that possible? I keep reading things like "and time stood still" so surely there must be a way to create those moments.

Preferably in such a way as to permit the frantic passage of needles through yarn, which rules out "their eyes met" scenarios.

Man, I really should have taken the time to watch more speed-knitting videos. As it is I'm going to call it a long weekend and see what I can get done.

Have a great weekend yourselves and I'll see you Monday!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Needles: the other stash

When I was first knitting I made one project at a time and I never had any yarn left over, so the only thing that accumulated was needles. I'd buy the ones specified in the pattern, since I never seemed to have what was called for. Naturally, I never thought to check my gauge (because it was the 80s and it was actually a good thing if your sweater was three sizes too big.)

(Come to think of it, not checking gauge may be why I stopped knitting in the 90s, when things got more fitted... h'mmmm.)

Even after I stopped knitting I still hunted eBay and charity shops for my favourite vintage needles, some of which made it into the photographs for the knitting needle organization project I did last year. Note that casual use of the word 'some'.

I have a lot of needles.

But I've come to realize over the past year that the only needles I reach for are my wooden dpns - especially the KnitPicks Harmony Wood ones - and my Addi fixed circulars. So doesn't it make sense, now that I'm knitting so much and even making patterns and never being able to use the sizes indicated in a pattern, but instead having to swatch two or three different needle sizes to get gauge, that I should have some of those in every size and in all the lengths I'm likely to need?

I know you're all nodding and saying of course, Mary! Why even ask?

So you can understand why I put needles on my list before I went to the Frolic, because sometimes at a big yarn event it's possible to find Addis a bit on sale, which matters because they're usually close to $20 each.

You will also probably understand why I went a little berserko when I found an enormous selection priced at $12 each:

Yes, that's a lot of yarn right there that didn't get bought - and I still managed not to have the size I needed to get gauge for a vest with my new Viola Fancy Lace.

Fortunately I do have a lovely 2.25 lace tip fixed circular that makes a lovely stitch size, and a giant book of Haapsalu patterns, so I can still get my mitts on the Viola pretty soon. Whew!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Really new, really fantastic yarn

A while back when I wanted to knit something special for my writing teacher, Emily at The Naked Sheep helped me choose just the right red for the Lucky Scarf, which is I'm sure why I consider that shop to be my LYS in spite of there being quite a few that are closer.

And because Emily writes a lot of entries for the shop's blog, I feel like we've kept in touch all this time even though that's obviously not the case (the Sheep is about a 35 minute drive from my house and if you are a regular reader you will know that I am not so very much of a driver.)

So... when I dropped by The Naked Sheep booth at the Frolic on Saturday, I was very glad to see Emily again. She always finds neat things to knit and she's just so positive and enthusiastic, you don't have to know about her good Lucky Scarf karma to feel your day is now going to be that little bit better.

I was looking really for another ball of Rowan Felted Tweed for the Carrot, but they hadn't brought any of that. What they had brought was a lot of lovely looking yarn with an even lovelier tag. Have I ever mentioned that I used to do graphic design for a living? I still consider good packaging to be part of the yarn experience, and these tags were saying Zing to me.

zing zing zing, if you must know. I couldn't look away until...

I spotted a superb little cardi with raglan sleeves - another weakness - knit, naturally, by Emily. In some of the fabulous looking yarn. In one skein of that yarn, in fact, which means you wouldn't have to go alternating between two or three skeins to avoid subtle dye lot shifts.

(If you're doing the math here you probably know how that is possible and you may even be biting your lip on my behalf.)

Well, as I looked over the gorgeous, complex colours and wondered whether it was humanly possible to choose between them, some other people came over and congratulated Emily on her yarn. At which point it dawned on me: the cute tags were Emily's, and so was the cute yarn! So I beelined it to the cardi-producing skeins and picked up the first colour that sang to me:

only to find I could not put it down again. Something to do with the fiber content, I expect.

Here is where things get owie:

I brought home my precious 1300 yard skein of 2 ply laceweight that, when sitting across the palms of both my hands feels like every single comfort bear you ever held in your life all hugging you back right now, and I loved it for two days while looking at the pattern Emily knit with it (Featherweight Cardigan) and then at Sanderling - a long, A-line vest with a tiny lace pattern - and suddenly

last night

I had to wind it into a cake.

Even though I haven't cast back on for the Baby Surprise Jacket yet and I suspect everybody else has finished the knitalong since I frogged, and I have two other pressing projects to finish ASAP as well as the Carrot I love so well.

Three words, people: Alpaca, Silk, Cashmere.

But once you wind yarn into a cake it isn't a comfort bear any more. And I have such ridiculously loose tension that after a furtive swatching session under the watchful gaze of a Very Important WIP, it seems I don't possess the needles that will give me gauge for Sanderling. Also, for reasons to be disclosed tomorrow I expect, I am not in a position to buy additional needles at this time.

So now I am thinking about how many highly luxurious giftable lace scarves one could knit with 1300 yards of gorgeousness (thereby maximizing the skin to fiber exposure ratio) and

I am seriously considering the imminent purchase of some Viola sock weight. Ahem.

(If you want some Viola of your own, you can visit here on Etsy or get hold of the nice folks at The Naked Sheep, who are happy to ship things. You can see pictures of the different weights on the Viola page at Ravelry; the skein pictured here is 'Fancy Lace' in Sea Storm.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Frolicking

I was sensible this year and went into the Knitter's Frolic with a list and a scrap of yarn and a ball band, and I carried it around in one hand looking like I was in a grocery store, which I might as well have been because the Frolic has everything. I mean, if you didn't have a list you would just glaze over and forget half of what you needed going in, because there is so much there you suddenly feel you need once there.

For example, I felt very strongly that I needed a loom just minutes before my ride was departing, thank goodness, because I also feel strongly that I would like to do a little loom research before I go leaping into that part of the textile pond.

As it was, my list didn't get nearly as much attention as you'd think it would from being in my hand for the duration:

There were a lot of very beautiful buttons at the Frolic, but I got overwhelmed and also distracted by the gorgeous shawl pins invariably displayed beside them. When I got home and realized I hadn't bought any of either thing I comforted myself with the memory of my enormous selection of vintage buttons in the basement, and the fact that I don't actually have a shawl requiring either button or pin at this time.

And nobody had any of the yarn I needed for the Carrot (or the other pattern, Ginny, I want to make from the book the Carrot is in.)

But I did get some stuff not on the list. Like a couple of little treats for Trish, who couldn't come:

The journal is a Mary Engelbright design and I bought a different one for myself because her stuff is just so happy. The gravel is part of the entryway to the Japanese Cultural Centre - the cherry blossoms outside from one of the trees in the garden outside. This is a gorgeous place to spend an afternoon even when it's not full of fiber.

Another thing I got for both of us:

Yes, they are pill cases... but they were labeled 'stitch marker cases' and I just thought that was too clever to pass up. I got home and put my most favourite stitch markers right into mine, leaving the rest as backup in the boring opaque plastic camping case thingy they all crowded into before.

and yes, I did get some other things. Like needles, ahem. And some yarn, too - but that's too special not to have its very own entry so you'll have to stay tuned, heh heh heh.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Making a (frolicking) list

Tomorrow is my local Knitter's Frolic, where you can shop at every LYS for miles all under one (architecturally stupendous) roof and take classes too.

Last year, I took classes in spinning and pattern-making, and I bought a lot of yarn - bliss! but this year I am booked solid with driving practise and also, I have rather a lot of yarn, so I was thinking of not going.

But... it's the Frolic.

And I realized there are a few things I need after all, like

buttons for the baby surprise jacket

Soak to accompany said jacket

buttons for the Carrot cardi

a big show button for Something Else

some more yarn for the Carrot cardi.

Yep, it looks like I might not have bought quite enough, especially if I want to make it a bit longer through the body (probably.) Naturally my chances of getting the same dye lot are nil - I'll be lucky to get the same colour - but the cardi has cuffs and a button band and a shawl that could all be knit in a different dye lot without too much ruination, don't you think? And I could extend the body with the same yarn.

And maybe I won't need to use the extra yarn on the cardi at all, and I can knit it up with a second yarn into a matching scarf and hat set, for those late fall days when I really can't face my winter coat.

Ha! Poised to Frolic, that's me.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Yesterday is the day my neighbours (the ones behind this fence) moved

... far away. Yep, as they were leaving, the first installment of the newest Vesper sock club arrived! And I do feel all of these colours about losing George and Wanda. They'll be spending a few years in England and I will miss them even as I experience acute jealousy about all the country homes and fabulous chocolate and niche museums they will have such proximity to. I love England. I just can't face flying there.

Anyway while they're off having a marvelous time, or more likely recovering from jet lag, I'm going to do some more driving and parking practice and then spend the better part of midday having doctor-type appointments, which means



If only I knew what project to take.

I could cart along the baby surprise jacket - I'm frogging and moving up a size which will make it a lot more enjoyable to move along the needles (the stitches were just too small for the yarn, if you know what I men?) and the needles I want to move to are Otherwise Occupied, but maybe I could find another option in my giant stash of duplicates.

Or I could bring the Carrot, the back of which is just 7 rows away from the armpits.

That would mean a lot of referring back to the pattern and measuring on my knee, not so sensible when I'm likely to be moved to three different rooms and back again over the wait.

Maybe I should slip the back onto a holder and bring along the fronts to start instead?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Embracing the queue

It's taken me a long time to get the point of some of the tools at Ravelry, especially the concept of the queue. Up to now, if I liked something a lot, I'd click on Favourites to show some love for the pattern or project; if I wanted to make it some day, I'd click on Queue.

Then, on Saturday, it finally occurred to me that I could organize myself a lot better if I used the queue as an actual stack of To Dos.

So I did another hunt for sock patterns that fit the gauge I get for my vast stash of sock yarns on 2mm needles, which I've decided I really need to shift down to, and then I whittled it down even more to the ones that have the right number of stitches for my own feet, the top of the list being:

River Rapids by Sockbug and

Summer Sox by Cookie A.

... and then I looked over the rest of the queue and pulled things I would like to make soon up to the top, making this decision by referring back to my stash for yarn I'd like to do something with sooner rather than later and...

Honestly, why was I so slow to see the value of this??

I assigned actual colourways to each pattern.

So now, the minute I have sufficient free time to knit whatever I feel like again, I can cast on for socks or scarves and the only decision I'll have to make is which pattern I want to try first.

And in anticipation of this happy day (and recognizing that such decisions are not my strong point), I ordered a few more sets of 2mm double pointed needles in Harmony Wood from KnitPicks.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

KAL progress report

On Saturday I cast on for my Baby Surprise Jacket with some random needles I like (Addi lace circulars in I think 4mm size) and got 5 stitches to an inch - that should be about the right size for the new neighbour-baby this coming winter, I hope.

Then I started knitting, remembering only at row 4 that I'm using two skeins of hand-dyed yarn and should be alternating them, so I decided I would just do that from there on rather than ripping back, whew. And both cakes fit perfectly in my little tinyhappy bag with room left over for the actual project, yay!

After that I got all the way to here:

before I got stuck. This is where the line-by-line instructions end, and an increase is introduced, but I wasn't sure whether it was meant to come here (row 9) or later (row 10? row 11?)

Thankfully this is a knitalong and arielzoe came to my rescue: row 11.

I'm not sure when I'll get back to this project, having another emergency/urgent one on the needles since the weekend, but it already looks weird enough for me to be anxious to find out what's next. Stay tuned!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blueys: complete

Finally! I finished these socks - and after worrying the whole way through I wouldn't have quite enough yarn and even reducing the leg length just in case and hunting furtively through the stash for something in a comparable weight/fiber for the toes if needed, I ended up with this much left over:


Just before I Kitchener-stitched the toes, I read a fascinating article by TECHknitter in Interweave Knits (Spring 2010) on shaping during same, and decided to employ some so as to avoid that sticky-outie bit on the sides of the toe that look like ears. It was fun to do but I think I wasn't very good at it because the left sock feels a little bit lumpy at the ends. I'll have to try harder next time.

Anyway, in spite of all the problems I made in the process, they did come out very prettily:

And they are thick and warm! I'll be able to wear my Mary Janes much farther into next fall and still have warm toes, and even eke out my walking boots for longer into snow season.

The yarn, organic merino hand-dyed by Midnight Sheep, was fantastic. I would rib it another time to make the sock a bit more snug - this yarn is not as elastic as some, though I would venture to say it's softer than most - but I loved it and can definitely recommend it. The yarn and the colour both!