November 25, 2007

Say when

Sometimes you've just got to admit when you've gotten it wrong and cut your losses. As enchanted as I was with the Shepherd Sock in Red Rover, the more time I spent with it, first photographing it and then casting on the socks, the less comfortable I started to feel. An inch or so into the ribbing I had to face facts. Parts of the Red Rover colourway are, in fact, pink. Oh I told myself it was just a bit of a faded red and remembered Meg Swanson's advice to "tell him it's raspberry". But in the cold light of the full spectrum lamp there was no way to deny it. Pink.

It wouldn't have bothered me were the socks going to a female friend or relative, but boys don't wear pink socks. So I frogged the little bit of ribbing, rewound the yarn and tucked it away in the stash. It's still lovely, it just needs to find the right project.

Adam still needs new socks, so there was a small falling down of the Fleece Artist kind. A skein of Somoko in Earth. So soft and lustrous. The colourway actually reminds me of coffee beans in all their stages. There's a little bit of green in there that looks like the fresh beans and it drifts through a golden caramel and on into rich browns. The darkest points have that silk sheen which is evocative of that slightly oily look of dark espresso roast.

And the hand is just beautiful. There is a bit of kid in there, but there is very little halo and it has enough nylon in it that it doesn't feel fragile. Too early for a full review yet, but if all goes well this one could go on the sock yarn lurve list.

The only downer is that it didn't suit the ringwood pattern at all. I'm working it in a nice, simple garter rib. And there's still a surprising thing about this project, which will have to wait one more post.

November 23, 2007

Deja Vue

The mossy cables hat joins the list of finished gift knits. I ended up doing 6 repeats of the cable, which makes it too long for me, but will hopefully fit the recipient well. Excellent quick knit. The Cascade 220 looks great, as usual.

Basic Cable Hat
from Stitch and Bitch Nation
Cascade 220 Heathers

The second of the pair is started, this time in Patons Classic Merino. I'm working this one on 4.5mm Addis, aiming for a slightly smaller finished circumference than the one above.

The lovely red Shepherd Sock is looking even lovelier now that it's wound and resting in the (rare) autumn sunshine. I've gone back and forth a few times on a pattern for this yarn. The colourway is not really variegated but there is a lot going on it. And the colour itself is eye catching enough that it's going to obscure detail. As is so often the case, I have returned to Nancy Bush and cast on the Ringwoods from Knitting Vintage Socks, though I'll modify the leg length. I can see these becoming my soothing go-to knitting in the stress of the coming weeks.

Though my reverting to knitting one of Nancy Bush's sock pattern isn't unusual there is one surprise about this project. That'll have to wait till the weekend.

November 17, 2007

Friday Yarn Porn (Saturday edition)

So I'm a little late. In my defense this yarn only found its way to my mail box yesterday, and by then it was really too dark to take photos. Today it was really too grey and rainy to take photos, but I did my best.

Two skeins of Shepherd Sock in Red Rover. The red is actually slightly subtler than it appears here. Adam picked this out for his next socks. I love these shifting tonal shades. Should be fun to knit.

And since I could scarcely just order two little skeins of yarn, I threw in a little treat for myself.

A GoKnits pouch! I've been coveting one of these for a while, but always convinced myself that my usual zip-top baggie was working fine. I saw the purple size small in stock when I was ordering the yarn and decided it was a sign. Haven't loaded it up yet (with the gift knitting in full swing, I don't have a sock on the needles right now) but the size looks great and the little internal loop to keep your yarn untangled is the kind of detail I like.

Yummy sock yarn and a well thought out knitting accessory: A good way to start the weekend.

Quick Trip

Gift knitting continues. Progress has been somewhat slower this past week as much of my spare time was spent filling in forms and collecting documents in preparation for a visit to the French consulate in Vancouver.

Travel knitting was a top secret project, seen here in earlier days.

And that's all your going to see of it until it has been gifted. Though of course everyone who has knit this pattern is looking at that k4p1 ribbing and going "I know what that is". Gotta love knitters.

The second gift hat is nearly complete. It's even farther on than this now, I ended up adding several repeats of the cable. The pattern (basic cable from Stitch n' Bitch) is seriously short as written. A quick Ravelry check confirmed that I was not alone in this decision.

The ability to do this kind of search is, to me, one of the most useful aspects of Ravelry. If there's a problem, I tend to assume that it originates with me, not the pattern. Having a quick way to find out that others have had the same issues saves much knitting anxiety.

Aside from the length foibles I am loving this pattern. I'm now planning another, though in a slightly brighter shade, for another person on the list. At first I felt like that was a little cheaty, but the yarn choice makes an enormous difference. The two hats will go to a couple.

I got some long anticipated yarn in the mail today, but too late to take photos for YPF. If I get a little luck with the weather I'll post photos in the next day or two. New yarn is a good closer to a great week.

November 7, 2007

Cover your ears

The gift knitting continues. I'm with Carolyn; this year it's hats.

The red cabled hat for the Aunt is done.

Utopia Hat by smariek
Patons Decor

Again with the boring flat photo. Must find better way to display hats.

I've been going back and forth a bit on how to deal with blogging the holiday gifts. The red hat is for an Aunt who I'm fairly certain does not read the blog. The next hat however is for someone who does look in on these pages from time to time. Gifts are pretty much all I'm working on at the moment, without them I will quickly become low on blog fodder. I've decided to continue blogging gift projects but in most cases I won't identify the recipient. Friends and family may read (or not) at their own risk.

Next up is another hat with cables. This one in Cascade 220 Heather, a yarn which I really like to work with.

It's a bit further on now but since the time change chances for good photos are few. I have been craving earthy greens lately and this one will suit the giftee perfectly. If I can bear to be parted from it.


November 5, 2007

What gets knitted in

Knitting is nearly always more than the stitches formed when needle meets wool. The knitted object, especially when gifted, also represents our time and our affection for the recipient. The wavy and woolly scarf was a particularly loaded knit.

It was birthday gift for Adam, begun much too late for the actual day, but in what I thought was lots of time before I would see him in September. Adam and I have spent most of the last nine months apart, which does leave me with some extra knitting time but is mostly very hard.

This scarf came to be my late night project. Something I could pick up at the end of my day and work on while listening to the radio. Something to quiet my brain. The late-at-night hours are sometimes hard ones. Days are full and rushed but when it is late it is quiet and there are few distractions and your mind can wander to missing someone. A lot. And I thought and I worried and I missed. I worked on it when I was exhausted and sad. All that went into that scarf. It absorbed a few tears as well.

I'm sure this late-at-night knitting for absent loved ones is as old as knitting . Because the act itself is soothing and a camouflage for day-dreaming and wishing. And hours knit away are hours of separation that are past forever. And when someone wears the knitting then they will know that you missed them. They will be warmer and somehow safer for your efforts. This knitted thing becomes more than the sum of its parts; what happens when needles meet wool.

Or so I hope. Maybe I'm just a knitting romantic. Either way, there is bound to be more late-at-night knitting, but that's okay. There is strength in it.