December 23, 2007

So close

I just might make it. The Gran hat is done. It still needs the ends woven in and the button sewn on (I found a button on Friday - harder than I expected) but it's done.

The coffee bean socks have been zipping right along. They need only a toe, a little weaving and a quick wash. Easy.

The un-bloggable gift is where I may fall down. I worked on it till the small hours this morning, but it still needs several hours before it can be called done. This doesn't sound bad, I know, but my non-knitting life is starting to interfere. The wrapping and cleaning and cooking and requests that pull one away from the needles.

So tonight, yet again, I'll be plugged into some podcasts and knitting after midnight. I'll get it done. It might be close, but I'll get it done. I thought I'd kept the list short this year, and started in good time. Perhaps the knitting expands somehow to fill all available hours? No time to speculate now - must knit.

December 15, 2007

Yarn pr0n Friday

Though only just (and as long as you're reading this in the Western half of North America). The weather here has settled into West Coast Winter. It's gray and drippy and not really conductive to drool worthy yarn photos. I persevered though, because this is too good not to share:

Squee! Socks That Rock in Pond Scum, Scottish Highlands, Jasper Rainforest and Socktopus. I got a couple of patterns as well, but they don't photograph very interestingly. Adam (who knows how to keep his knitter happy) sent me a Blue Moon certificate in November and I dithered about colours for a while before I ordered. I'm so pleased with my choices. I think the Pond Scum (I love that name) will be a pair of Embossed Leaves socks. I'll be living very near the Chartreuse mountains in France so it seems appropriate that this yarn should be knit up there.

I'm in the early phase of deciding what to take with me and what will be left behind in storage. The smart thing to do would be to sit down and plan out projects, assemble required materials and stick to the plan. Any bets on how long that would last? When does the first Knitty of the New Year come out? Yeah. And then there's the whole book problem. I'm used to having all my resource materials at hand. I'm sure some of you have been in this situation before - any hints?

Returning to socks, the second coffee bean sock is started

and with the holiday knitting nearing an end I hope to have it done before Adam arrives. I notice than Simply Socks now has some of the Somoko. Try it, you'll like it.

December 14, 2007

Getting there...

Is there an inverse relationship between the amount of knitting and the amount of blogging? Surely this shouldn't be. When one is knitting a lot one should have more to blog. I think I'm running out of things to say about hats.

This one has taken forever to dry (it's winter, apparently) and so will be late getting in the mail. With luck it may still make it for the day.

Utopia Hat
by smariek
Cascade 220 Heathers

And the last gift hat of the season is cast on. This one with no cables at all.

Bright, isn't it? This one is for my Gran, and she loves her purple. Pattern is by Rachel and can be found here. Very quick knit in bulky yarn, the only challenge will be finding the perfect button. The knitting portion should be done by the weekend.

There is one more gift on the knitting list for this year, which isn't even started yet. Still, I think I might make it. Knitting all these gift hats, combined with the chilly temperatures, has had me thinking about a topper of my own. I have cables twisting in my brain and I should get them onto paper and onto the needles.

In fact, there has been lots of yarn activity here I just seem to be having trouble merging it into a cohesive post. Aside from the holiday knitting (and the non-yarn holiday planning), I'm in my last few weeks at my job and getting ready to move. Having small projects to work on has been good - I can't seem to focus on anything for more than half and hour at a time. I think for January I'm going to need something absorbing, yet not too trying to absorb my pre-move anxieties.

The mail this week included a package from Scappoose, Oregon so lighting allowing, there will be pr0n tomorrow. Maybe a book review too.

December 4, 2007

Times two

It's very rare that I knit a pattern twice and even rarer to knit a pattern twice in a few weeks. But the Christmas knitting makes us do unusual things. Having finished the second Basic Cable hat, I have started a second Utopia.

What can I say? A good cabled hat pattern is a good cabled hat pattern. With 20 days to go (and less, really, as these need mailing) I'm not feeling like it's time to innovate.

The three phases of coffee socks aren't Christmas knitting in the deadline sense, but they are distracting. I can't say enough about this yarn. It is so subtle and soft and lovely. The surprise?

Those are bamboo needles and I don't have to fly anywhere for weeks. I was very happy with the High Altitude socks, and I took some time to think about what makes the difference between a satisfactory project and a really great one. Obviously the end result is big, but for me, the process has a lot to do with it too. In the case of the HA socks, needle choice was dictated by the travel. I stumbled onto the Kertzer brand, which are a marked improvement on the Clover bamboos I've tried in the past, but I still considered them a stand in for my preferred aluminium double points.

The more I worked with them, the more I warmed to them. I'm lucky not to bothered much by hand pain but I did find I like how light the Kertzers are, and though I suspect that I knit a little more slowly on them, I can knit for longer. That's the process part. I was more surprised by the product bit. My knitting, straight off the needles, was much more even, especially in ribbing. I initially attributed this to the elastic content in the Megaboots stretch that I used for the HA socks. A little swatching and experimentation, however, suggests that a stickier needle plays a part as well. Who knew?

So given the slick nature of the Somoko and all the ribbing I decided to stay with the bamboo DPNs. So far, so good. I've even been eyeballing a set of those Harmony wood DPNs from Knit Picks, having heard that they too are nice and smooth. I'm not the only one, apparently, since at the moment I'm on the waiting list to be emailed when they start taking orders (back ordered) again. It's great to see businesses serving knitters doing so well, so I won't complain.

I'm curious though, what are your favourite DPNs and why? Leave a comment.