October 1, 2010

I'll take that as a hint...

My boss, the excellent Anne, linked my sadly negelected blog in her sidebar.

If that's not a hint to update the old blog.....well let's just act like it is.

August 14, 2009

Socks, Baby.

So last weekend was Sock Summit which by all reports was crazy and overwhelming and wonderful. I wasn't there. Sort of disappointing but realistically it was just too far to go. Of course had the summit taken place at this time last year I would have been a few hours away by car. Alas.

I did think of Tina and the Blue Moon ladies though while working on my socks. Blue Moon Socks that Rock (lightweight) in Garden Daze:

This was the yarn for the July shipment of the Rockin' Sock Club. It is very, very far outside of my usual colour family but I liked it as soon as I opened up the package. So far I have been letting my sock club yarn mellow in stash a bit, in fact a few earlier shipments have not yet been cast on. Not so this, I cast on a couple of days after it showed up. Unfortunately the club pattern and I were not seeing eye to eye. It's a lovely pattern, but I thought it obscured the colours and I was getting some unfortunate pooling. Sometimes a really pretty handpaint just want to be a plain vanilla sock. So it is (with a little picot cuff thrown in for variation). I am zooming through these, not least because I can't wait to wear them no doubt alarming my friends and co-workers.

Another reason it is probably best I did not make it to Sock Summit: I would almost certainly have bought sock yarn and I don't really need more sock yarn. Being in the sock club fills the hand-painted niche very nicely so I've bought some solid colours lately but not much else.

Working in a yarn shop is not without its hazards and going home with more yarn than pay is one of them. Now that I've been there for a while though the effect has changed. I'm at the yarn store all the time. I'm surrounded by the lovely yarn all the time. The yarn fumes have lost some of their power perhaps but mostly I have gotten over that feeling that "If I don't buy it right mow I might never see this yarn again" feeling. The yarn is always there and even if a particular yarn or colour goes away more yarn will come to fill its place.

All very nice and philosophical sounding. We'll see how well this has held up in October, after Rhinebeck.

Socks aside it's been all gift knitting lately. Which of course does not make for good blogging, as some of the recipients read here from time to time. The gift of the moment should be safe; another apple hat for another anticipated baby.

Adam is flying west this weekend for work and hopes to have a chance to visit friends who have just announced they are expecting their first in February. One apple hat coming up. Cast on at Pub knitting on Wednesday and should be done this afternoon (I need to burrow into the stash to find a few yards of brown for the stem).

Blogger tells me that this is the 100th post since I started this blog a little over two years ago, which doesn't sound like a very good pace. Just have to keep going, I guess.

July 30, 2009

Me? Blog?

Oh dear. More that six months without a post. To be honest I was ready to let this blog die. Posting had come to feel like an obligation and demands on my time had increased. It wasn't something I planned. When I wrote that last post, way back in January I didn't mean for it to be the last, it just sorted ended up that way and eventually I let myself stop feeling guilty for not posting. If it's any consolation it was not a good winter for me and most of you would not have wanted to read anything I had to write.

Now it is summer (or what passes for summer this year) and things are a little better and a little calmer. Both my mother and mother-in-law have pointed out that I should be blogging and now my lovely friend Jenn has started a blog of her own. All these little nudges add up. So here I am again. I don't know how often I'll post or for how long. Perhaps this is the blogs last stand.

Looking back through those 2008 posts it looks like the cutoff point for really regular posting coincides with my moving back from France. When I was away the blog felt more important to me as a way to keep in touch with my knitting friends back home. I still live nearly as far from my Vancouver Island knitting friends (Canada: it's a biiiig country) and I have knitting friends from France to keep in touch with too.

Despite the lack of blogging I have been knitting. That pink vest that has been sitting half done in my last post for 6 months did in fact get finished in February. I haven't worn in very much. It's a lovely item but I mis-estimated the effect of pink 2x2 ribbing on my tummy region. No photos of that one but perhaps I'll get brave and post one sometime.

I'm not really set up do a finished object report for everything I've finished. I also got a new laptop during the blog hiatus so photos are still in a few different places. I'll add a few here and if you want more info check my Ravelry project page or just ask!

There are more, of course. And I hope they'll all appear here in time.

January 28, 2009

Not Again

I had such high hopes for my twice-weekly blogging plan (which in itself should have been a warning sign ....) and it's fallen off the rails before it's even really begun. No time to moan about it though, better to just get back on track.

A number of things conspired to keep me away from the blog. One of our computers coughed quietly once or twice and then died unexpectedly the other day. This throws himself and I all out of whack: We're nerds (as you may have noticed by now) and being down to less than one computer/Internet portal per person is not a good plan. The whole things is made more vexing by the fact that the deceased machine was purchased less than a year ago. However it seems that the nice folks who made the overpriced brick are going to make good. We'll just see how that turns out.

In happier news actual knitting has been keeping me away from the blog somewhat too. As you may recall I dodged the holiday knitting bullet and now the knitting goddess is, predictably, exacting revenge. Since the holidays I've always had at least one "obligatory" knit on the needles. Now it could be worse, certainly, and I'd still rather knit for all of these occasions than just buy something, but my selfish inner knitter wants to hide away and work on things for memememe. And there is one thing for me, the as-yet-un-named pink vest. I was making good progress on it for a while but now it's semi-stalled right in the middle of the bust-darts.

those stitch markers look like rather odd nipple rings in this photo, sorry

I like working on it and I like how it's coming out, but other things have been pushing themselves to the top of the pile lately.

I finished the boot socks for Dad (who reminds me he never reads my blog anyway, so I can post pictures). Pretty standard stuff, but my Dad is not one for interesting foot coverings.

My husband, on the other hand (or should it be foot) has no such constraints. He needed more heavy socks and we had this worsted weight self-patterning stuff in at the shop. I had to buy a couple of balls just to see. You can just see a few of his board-game boxes in the back there, he calls these his Spiele Socken.

Vivid no? The repeat is super-long so I didn't bother trying to start them in the same place or anything. I actually sort of like that they don't match, it seems like they shouldn't, somehow.

With those done I'm zipping through a birthday gift with another to follow closely behind. Those are secret though, so no pics yet. None of this is tedious knitting or anything, I just want to work on my vest again! Whine whine.

Also crimping things a little is the fact that my energy has been kind of low lately. As I write Kingston is in the grips of it's umpteenth serious snow storm of the season, with about 20 cm (that's 7.8 inches for you imperial hold-outs) falling today. It's kind of pretty and fun the first few times it happens but when it's on a Wednesday at the end of January and you have to go to work...well the thrill is gone. It is cold and dark and nasty and everything that winters in Canada predictably are but I'm just tired of it.

However it is good knitting weather and I have lots of that to get through. And lots to look forward to including some experiments in different fibery-arts and planning a knitting retreat in the spring. Which can't come soon enough.

January 18, 2009

Back To It

Things are still looking a little messy here at consolations, but it's time to get back to it I think. As well as spiffing up the blog there has been knitting going on.

I finished off Adam's latest pair of socks last week. They actually worked up more quickly than I anticipated, what with the legs being knit on 2.0 mm needles. But ultimately they didn't take any longer than other textured patterns. I really like the pattern, and I'm looking forward to working more of Anne's patterns very soon.

Tears of Offler socks
raveled here

At the same time that I've been refreshing the blog , I've been weeding through my Ravelry queue with a firm hand. Both taste and circumstance change and I had to come to grips with the fact that there were items on there which, no matter how lovely, were never going to be knit by me. Some things stand the test of queue time and I have cast on for the vest which had been sitting in the number one spot for some time. No photos yet, as there isn't much to show, but I'm glad to be working on a garment again.

Also waiting for a photo session is the Thermis cowl. It is done and since this shot has even had its buttons sewn on. A very enjoyable knit as well as a timely finished object, since we are in the midst of a deep freeze here in Ontario at the moment. However it is possible that I am not as elegantly long-necked as some; when I wear this it comes up around the bottom of my ears. I like it though, and can see knitting more of these, even if only as gifts.

Speaking of gifts, the Winter Apple baby did indeed arrive shortly after the knitting was complete and is a little boy. I'm sure he'll be sweet in his little apple hat.

Most of the knitting this month seems destined to be foot coverings for the men in my life. I've just finished a pair of boot socks for my Dad (sorry, no photos till they're in the mail) and cast on a pair for my husband. These heavy-weight socks do go quickly, which is a nice change. Another, more secret, project needs to be done by the end of the month as well.

It was nice to have a bit of a break from regular blogging, but it will be good to get back to it as well. I am hoping to post at least twice a week, but I won't make any promises just yet. There have been so many changes in the last four months and I'm not all that resilient to changes. But things seem to be leveling out (knock wood) and calming down and the pace of things is becoming familiar. I just need to figure out what to slot back into the schedule and what might be better left out. I probably won't get this right on the first try, but I'm working on it.

December 29, 2008


The Winter Apple baby set is done, and not before time. I spoke to the soon-to-be Mom on Christmas Day and she's feeling ready to go too, though she's not a knitter herself, and seemed slightly unsure that the bairn was in fact waiting for it's knitting to be done.

The sweater is adapted from F. Pea's Super Natural Stripes, the hat is my usual fruit shaped infant hat. Because I was working on this during late December I was a little concerned that it was looking too Christmasy, but I think it has all come together nicely. The green really is more of an apple green that a Christmas green and the little details are (I hope) cute without being twee.

Click for bigger

The Scotch Mist hat is also done. It's actually been done for a while but it took me a bit too long to get around to the washing and blocking. My photographer is at work today though, so only the 'hat-on-bowl' shot for now.

I still love this yarn, the Topsy Farms 2 ply I talked about here. It softened up some after a good Euculan soak but it's pretty rustic. I like that but I know some won't. The colour is great though and there is so much going on in it. In fact I have picked up a ball of the natural colour and started a cowl, of which more later.

The first of the Tesserae socks is done and yesterday I turned the heel on the second one. The feet go faster than the leg so these should be complete soon. This is going to be the last pair of light-weight socks I knit for a while though. The reality of winter is really setting in and thicker socks are required around here.

So done, done and nearly done. To be frank I'm feeling about done too. Work, the holidays, the weather and a nasty virus brought home by Himself have conspired to wear me down and make me thoughtful. I've been neglecting my blog for a while now and while there have been reasons big and small more than anything else I think I lost the groove of blogging and lost sight of why I started.

I'm going to take some time to make some changes around here. Partly just to freshen and tidy but also to figure out what it's going to take to get me to the keyboard more often. My big (non-knitting) project for the New Year is to finally get my studio/office set up. The room has been full of unpacked boxes and mess and finding anything (even a set of DPNs) has become a pain. Also with no bookshelves all of my books and patterns are packed away, not out to inspire me and with no desk I have been blogging from the dining room table. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to having my fiber space and I really do hope that it will give me a creativity kick-start for both writing and designing.

So I'll be quiet for a little while, though perhaps it won't be a noticeable difference from my spotty posts of late, and things may look a little messy around here but it'll get better. And I'll still be knitting, and will likely have stuff to show.

The cowl seems to be a big accessory this year - which from a knitters perspective is great, they're usually worked in the round, don't take much yarn and are over much sooner than a scarf. This is a cowl of necessity for me. Having been in a warmer climate for a few years I don't have a lot of hand knit scarves and none of those I do have has turned up here yet (I still don't have all of my stuff here). I have several of the enormous, woven euro-scarves that I always wore while living in France but every time I try to wear one here I feel rather self-conscious and affected. I am hoping this is going to be a good solution and finished before it gets ridiculous cold again (it has been both ridiculously cold and unseasonably warm in the past week).

Thank you all for visiting still, I hope that you'll bear with me. I wish everyone a joyous and knitty New Year.

December 21, 2008


Despite the blog silence there has been a lot of knitting going on around here. Even though I'm not knitting for Xmas this year I'm still pushing to get things finished (mostly so I can start new things...you know).

I've been working away on this wee baby cardigan which is going quickly thanks to it's tiny size and clever top down raglan construction.

It's actually even further along that this now, but it was at this stage that daylight and my being at home actually came together for long enough to allow for photography. The bairn it is being knit for is due soon (and will, I suspect, be early) so this, and the little hat to go with it are a top priority.

The socks are coming along too. The pattern looks really complex but is really just a sort-of offset rib so as long as I can remember what row I'm on it's pretty simple and not as slow as i had feared. The first one is nearly to the toe and I'm hoping to make good progress on the second no with a few days off over the holidays.

In other sock news I've signed up for the Rockin Sock Club for 2009. I hummed and hawed about it for a while but Himself and I came to an agreement - he got a new PSP and I signed up for the Sock Club (and he gets at least one pair of the resultant socks). Marriage is all about compromise I'm told.

The paper whites also are making a sprint for the finish. After doing nothing at all for a couple of weeks they suddenly decided to go for height. Curious. There are a couple of little flower spikes on there though, so it looks like we should have a couple of blossoms in time for Christmas.

Happy Solstice Everyone!

December 7, 2008

NaKniSweMo Success

I feel a little sheepish for posting about it nearly a week after the fact, but I did indeed finish my NaKniSweMo sweater within the month of November. I had minutes to spare!

Cobblestone Mosaic
Klatchinan Cobbleston Complete

I am so happy with the way it turned out. The pattern is great, the yarn lovely and the knitting was very simple, yet with enough changes to hold the attention, it fits and he likes it. I think that's the making of a successful project, deadline or not.

This has really helped spark my interest in knitting larger things again. That and the fact that the temperature hasn't risen above freezing all week. We are entering that season in Canada where woolly things are not a matter of fashion, but of necessity. There will be more sweaters from me this winter for certain and I'm feeling excited about it.

I have, of course, cast on for a pair of socks for carrying-around knitting. I'm using Anne Hanson's Tesserae pattern and some Sisu in a gorgeous dark teal colour. It's a brilliant stitch pattern (so many of Anne's patterns grow out of these) and easily memorized but to get a nice looking result I've had to go down to a size 0 needle so these are going to take a bit of time. I'm also starting a baby item which will be the first of several in coming months as this whole baby things seems to be going 'round.

Though I'm not at all regretting my decision not to knit gifts for the holidays this year it feels somehow slightly wrong not to be frantically trying to finish things up now. So far, I'm coping.

For those wondering why Klatchian: I refer you to the works of one T. Pratchett, particularlyJingo.

November 24, 2008

Still November

Have I mentioned recently how much I love knitting sweaters in the round? I do and I'm especially glad that the Cobblestone sweater is worked this way. Once the body was complete to the underarms it didn't take long at all to knit the sleeves and by Friday afternoon I was ready to join them all together.

Which went fine, though those rounds right after joining are really long. Plus there are some short-rows in the back which are a great design detail but do mean that for a while you're doing a lot of knitting without gaining a lot of length. A chilly, quiet weekend meant lots of good knitting time and now I'm past the first set of decreases (hurrah!) and heading up towards the neck.

Sorry about the iffy photos, not much light here this month.

I'm not entirely confident that I'm going to make it by the end of November but I'm still going to try. Himself has been keeping a keen eye on my progress and we've certainly had sweater weather recently. Congrats to my fellow NaKniSweMo knitters who are already done!

Deadlines can be good motivators but I think I've had too much deadline knitting in the past few months so I've decided not to do any Christmas knitting this year. Not least because if I wanted to do my normal amount I would have needed to start weeks ago. Initially this decision made me a bit sad but I don't think it's worth making myself crazy, and I have distributed some yarny goodness throughout the year. Also there are a few wee bairns coming in the new year who surely will need some woolies.

Speaking of Christmas deadlines: Do you think my paper whites are going to make it?

November 14, 2008

Friday Yarn Pr0n (and more changes)

I am maybe a little bit obsessed with this yarn:

It's Topsy Wool from Topsy Farm on nearby Amherst Island. This is not what you'd call a highly processed yarn. The hand is a bit rough, there is the odd bit of twig.

Maybe it's some sort of genetic memory? It's practically begging to be made into something dense and durable, something more about survival than fashion. It's like wool from an earlier time.

NaKniSweMo progress took a bit of a hit this week but for a good cause: I started my new job. It all happened a bit fast and I'm still on a learning curve but I'm also very excited! Having interesting work with great people and tonnes of learning opportunities is such an energizing prospect.

The past two months seem to have flown by and there have been so many changes but things are really coming together and settling in. There's even time to slow down and toast achievements. Happy days.

November 4, 2008

Fall Back

I never meant to be one of those people who starts out all their blog posts apologizing for how long its been since the last blog post. Yet I find myself in that position again.

This last weekend when the clocks fell back Adam and I had a real sense that we were falling back into our real lives. The past six weeks have been insane and slightly blurred and very happy but we are glad that the pace is starting to slow again.

All of the wedding knitting did get done in time. Just. I was knitting the toe on the second of Adam's marryin' socks at 2:00 AM the morning of the ceremony and my Mom was weaving in the ends on my shawl hours before hand (Thanks Mom!). I won't say much about the wedding (which probably deserves it's own post once the photos come in) except that it was lovely and what we had hoped for.

And a slower pace should mean a bit more time for knitting and blogging. During the whirlwind of the wedding weekend my friend Lynn and I made a "blog more" pact and I know Lynn is not going to let me slack on this one. In case that wasn't enough incentive I've decided to do NaKniSweMo this year. I know, I know one would think that I would be running from even the idea of more deadline knitting at this point. But I've had a sweater for Adam in my Ravelry queue for months* and the yarn conveniently arrived while we were away. Also who can say no to Shannon?

I filled in that late-October gap (and quite a bit of travelling-back-from-the-Rockies time) with some mitten knitting. This looked smart when we returned to Kingston in the midst of a nasty snowstorm, but today as I'm finishing them off it's 15 C and sunny outside. I feel confident they'll be needed soon enough.

These are Elizabeth Zimmermann's mitered mitts, one of the May projects in the Knitter's Almanac and the yarn is Noro Kureyon in 149, which is the same yarn as the Noro Hat I knit back in February. The pattern is typical of EZ, really more of a suggested way of proceeding than a line by line pattern. I made long cuffs and trimmed them with garter and used the thumb trick rather than an afterthought thumb. I worked these on 3.75 mm needles so they're pretty dense, but I like a firmly knit mitten - keeps the wind out. The Knitter's Almanac is the smallest of EZ's books but it is a real treasure trove of patterns. It was published in 1974 and the photography could use updating but the meat of the book remains totally relevant, as a quick browsing of Ravelry projects from it reveals.

We still haven't completely unpacked from the move, nor have we opened most of our wedding gifts. But there will be time for those sorts of things...right now we are reveling in the decompression. I need to wash my kitchen floor. I need to get my hair cut. I need to find a new job. But I also need to knit, and to blog, and I will.

*I never really bought into the whole 'boyfriend sweater curse' thing, but surely now I have NO excuses.

October 13, 2008

Updates and Finished Objects

Update 1: Furniture. Yes our furniture and things finally arrived a little over a week ago. The whole experience ended up being an exercise in frustration and ridiculousness and an object lesson in why people hate to move. As much as I would like to go into detail the memory of it all is still too fresh (and there is a good chance that litigation is still to come) so it will have to wait for another day. Also it is so nice to be eating off a table sitting in a chair that it feels like tempting fate to grouse too much.

Update 2: Wedding Shawl. Still a lace blob, so I'll spare you the photos but well on the way to completion. Only ten rows of chart and four rows of edging to go (plus the bind-off, which I am refusing to contemplate for the moment, you all understand). Feeling good about this one (which is a good thing since we leave for out wedding in a shocking eight days.

Update 3: Non-knitting wedding stuff. Meh. A few people have asked why I haven't shared more of my wedding planning on the blog. My standard response is that it's meant to be a knitting blog. I read a lot of knitting blogs and it doesn't appeal to me when someones knitting blog morphs into a wedding blog or a pregnancy blog or whatever.

If I'm honest though it's more complex than that. This whole wedding planning thing just isn't fun. Or at least it isn't for me. I've seen the TV programs and the magazines and all these people who devote months and months of their lives to their weddings and I sort of assumed that at some point in the planning the magic Martha switch in my head would trip and that I too would become obsessively concerned with napkin rings and recessional music. Maybe I even wanted it too a little bit (I have this lingering feeling that I'm missing out on something) but it never happened.

This Saturday we engaged in a little wedding-related craftiness that had nothing at all to do with yarn.

not yarn

I can't even tell you how cool this was. We had booked months ago with Sarah at The Devil's Workshop to make our wedding bands. Ourselves. Neither of us has any experience with this sort of thing but the workshop was great and the whole process ended up being very profound.

It's not knitting, but finished objects none the less. I still can't believe we made them ourselves, the sense of satisfaction is great and I think Adam got a little peek into the whole DIY ethos. Rings are almost universally symbolic and wedding bands even more so. Spending a day together in the midst of all the craziness crafting the rings that we'll exchange on that day was time well spent.

And since I never know when enough is enough I'm knitting a pair of marryin' socks for himself. My very first visit to Wool Tyme here in Kingston yielded an absolutely perfect skein of Malabrigo (mmmmm) Sock. He's worth it.

For my fellow Canadians: Please vote today. Vote your conscience, vote strategically, vote however you'd like, but please vote. It really does matter.

October 2, 2008

Lace Blob and FO

We're slowly getting settled into our new place - at least as settled as people without furniture can be. Yup, more than two weeks after arriving we are still sleeping on the floor and getting increasingly frustrated with the moving company that told us five to ten days. However they say they're going to be here on Friday. Fingers crossed.

Knitting activity is also getting back to normal. I didn't even touch the wedding shawl for over a week while we were in the worst of the moving and traveling, it takes way more concentration than I possessed at that time. I've gotten back to it in the past week and yesterday it looked like this.

Not too different, I know. It really is bigger though and today I have moved on to chart B which promises a little more variety. The going is somewhat slow and the rows have passed the 300 stitch point but it's fun to work on and diverting as well, which is what I need right now.

I did manage to finish a pair of winter socks for Adam. These were my mindless project for the times when exhaustion and travel and craziness took over my brain. Worsted weight socks are a quick-knit anyway and while it isn't winter here yet, you can feel it coming.

Cable Twist Socks (Hello Yarn)
Patons Classic Merino Natural Mix
Raveled here

The pattern here is actually a mock-cable formed with slipped stitches. A little fussy to work but easier than breaking out the cable needle. Also a little less "lumpy" than a true cable, which is probably a good thing in a sock of this weight.

I'm feeling like a pretty negligent blogger lately, I must admit. Only two posts for all of September. I want to do better in October but I also have to leave for my wedding in less than three weeks, so I probably shouldn't be making any promises. I do hope that in the coming weeks I'll have time to tell you all more about our new home and our new town and all of the exciting things that are going on. I should also be getting reacquainted with my stash and my books and all the things that got packed away when I moved to France - which should provide plenty of ideas and posts and additions to the queue.

Autumn always feels like a time of beginnings to me and this one even more so. There should be plenty to write once there is time for writing.

September 22, 2008


...for the long silence.

This move has been longer and more complex and far more tiring than we anticipated.

As of this morning we have the internets at home so a real post should be coming soon. Thanks for being patient.

secret no more.....

September 6, 2008

Shawl with no name

Lace in progress never looks very good. The wedding shawl is so far no exception.

It has actually grown a little bit since this photo but progress has slowed. Those short early rows inspire a false confidence. Now each row has well over a hundred stitches and takes 15 minutes to complete and of course the rows will only get longer. Happily this first motif is pretty intuitive and doesn't require constant attention to the chart.

Good progress is being made in other knitting. The secret thing is finished, but must remain secret for a little longer. The Captain Carrot scarf, which I put down at the start of the Ravelympics has been finished and washed and is now drying. Photos to come.

I scored a copy of the new Debbie Bliss magazine this week. If you're a fan of her style it's worth checking out. There are some really nice patterns and some other interesting content as well. Unfortunately the website seems to be down at the moment.

Blog posts here will likely be a little spotty for the next few weeks as I move and get settled in Kingston. But I'll update when I can and be back with much more sometime in late September.

August 30, 2008

VIP (very important pr0n)

So important that it is showing up a day late apparently. Oh well.

I dithered forever on what yarn to choose for my wedding shawl, considering a surprisingly wide variety of fibers and colours (I'm not wearing white, so I have options). Eventually I decided that it needed to be something classic and pretty but subtle.

Zephyr laceweight wool silk in Sable. It is exactly what I was hoping for. It is light but strong and soft with a subtle sheen. I'm still on the first pattern repeat but so far I'm pleased with how it's working up. This shawl probably won't be the biggest project I knit this year in either size or stitch count but it will certainly be the most significant, the most emotionally loaded. I want to enjoy the process as well as the result. Work in progress photos coming soon.

I was also lucky to receive a little gift from Stitches. Socks That Rock lightweight in the Knitter's Without Borders colourway.

Great yarn and a great cause - no way to go wrong there.

The only other thing I have on the needles is un-blogable since it's a gift for someone who reads here. Just a little stash-busting something, but it's fun to work on. Here's a sneak-peek.

Added to the list of things interfering with actual knitting this week is this book:

Lisa Lloyd's A Fine Fleece. This book has been out for a while and I hadn't really had a lot of interest in it. The theme of the book is knitting with handspun yarns and I don't spin. I can drop spindle a bit but I've long thought that I'd rather knit yarn that make yarn. However a thread in one of the Ravelry Cable Knitters forums led me to some project photos and I knew I had to get a look at this book.

Do I need to tell you that I wasn't disappointed? It's not that often that I get a book and really want to knit even a quarter of the projects in it. That's fine with me (truth told I've bought a whole book for one pattern at least once) since I know that tastes change and inspiration is valuable. A Fine Fleece? There are only a couple of patterns in there that I don't want to knit. In many cases immediately - I am only being saved by the crazy that is my life right now.

As has been mentioned once or twice before I am a big fan of texture work and the cabled patterns in this book are incredible. They vary from reasonably simple to extraordinarily intricate. Each project is shown in both handspun and a commercially spun yarn (nice for us non-spinners) and the photography and styling are lovely. It's not going to make me a spinner (though never say never) but I think at least one project from this book is going to be on my needles this winter.

August 25, 2008

Ravelympic Wrap-up

It was a close-run thing, but I made it.

Yarrow Ribbed Socks
from Knitting Vintage Socks
Berroco Alpaca Fine colours 1288 and 1285

So far 551 sock put participants have posted their finished items on Ravelry! And team Ankh-Morpork Knitters Guild came through with 40 finished objects, only slightly behind our arch-rivals over at team Hogwarts.

At the moment my primary feeling about these socks is relief that they're done. They still need a wash and patting out, but they look nice. I'm a little unsure about the toe, which Nancy Bush calls the French Toe. Instead of having two decrease points, with one at either side of the foot, it has three decrease points and sort of swirls up to the top. It was interesting to knit but I'm curious to see how it fits, both in shape and in length - the feet on these ended up being a bit shorter than most of Adam's socks. Alas it will be another three weeks or so before he can try them on.

Toe aside the pattern was clear and straight-forward if not especially interesting. It's a good boy-sock pattern though, and those aren't always easy to find. The yarn is nice and soft and fuzzy without being too fuzzy. It's also kind of splitty (not crazily so, but enough to make you pay attention) and very fine. I knit these on 2.25mm needles and probably could have gone tighter. The suggested needle size on the ball band is 3mm, which I am guessing is not a sock-based recommendation. Certainly at my tension a 3mm needle would have made for some very open results.

The socks are a mediumish Men's size and I have quite a bit of each colour left over. If I reversed the main and contrasting colours I think I could get another pair from the yarn easily, so it was a good value. It will be interesting to see how they wear and whether the Alpaca content makes them noticeably warmer than 100% wool.

No time to rest on my victory though, I'm hoping the yarn for my wedding shawl will arrive early this week and that will be a whole new saga, no doubt.