Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ending and beginnings

I frogged the Austrian socks. I just couldn't make myself to love the twisted stitches. I am a loose knitter and these just looked tight and forced and unhappy. Plus, as I've already mentioned, the Louet Gems Sport is splitty. So... I'm swatching a lace project instead - I'll post about it at some point, if I decide to make it.

Now, for beginnings: what does the green marker stand for?

(picture here)

The green marker shows how much scarf you can get from one skein of Rowan Cashsoft 4-ply. I wanted to send a scarf / shawl to my mother this Fall, and I don't have anything practical enough and unfussy enough in my pile of shawls. Plus, you don't want to send as a gift something that needs extensive blocking and looks awful otherwise. Thus - the two skeins of Cashsoft, in a beautiful jewel-tone deep red. Have I mentioned how much I love red and pink tones? So far I am very, very pleased with the yarn. It is remarkably soft and buttery and should hold up allright in a scarf.

The scarf is the romantically-named "Scarf with edging 21 and insertion 25 from The Knitted Lace Pattern Book, Thompson Bros., Kilmarnock, Scotland 1850" from Victorian Lace Today. I did only three repeats for the border lace instead of 4 and narrowed the center panel pattern to fit those three repeats. Great pattern, easy to memorize and I'm already past the middle. I've wanted to try the wide-border scarf construction for some time, and this is the perfect opportunity.

Photo in the morning. It's been raining all day here, and the light is problematic.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Oh my

I've broken my yarn diet. Duh, how long did I think it was going to last? Maybe I can make it "at most one purchase a month" - so August is done. Hopefully the yarn for Venezia will arrive in September, if it ever arrives. Are the sheep in Shetland still growing this yarn?

Anyway, who could resist Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool at $3.49 a hank?! I'll make the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from the latest IK, this yarn is perfect for cables and has enough structure to be interesting on the plain stockinette parts.

On a totally different note, we went hiking and camping this weekend. I wore some of my non-lacy handmade socks (Roza's socks! ancient storm striped socks! tiger stripe socks! wait, those were J's) while J wore some fancy hiking socks from EMS. Guess who got blisters. No, not me. I know this is not exactly a scientific experiment, so many things were different, but it makes me wonder. I think the handmade socks provide more cushion or something. I'll have to make more. I already have some ideas about working the leftover sock yarn into beautiful designs.

Finally, I finished the Arctic Diamonds stole. I did the last few rows this morning, I used EZ's cast-on cast-off for the ending, and then blocked it in the afternoon. I think I am quite pleased with the result; this one is coming to California with me.

Pattern: Arctic Diamonds Stole by Donna Druchunas, IK Winter '07

Yarn: KnitPicks Palette, Red, about 4.5 balls

Needles: size 3 circulars

Comments: I added a selvedge stitch on each side, and I think it make a difference. It was definitely worth knitting 6 repeats of the pattern, and I like the size of the finished product. Also, I am very much in love with Donna Druchunas' pattern style - I especially appreciate ktbl on the 2nd row above a YO, it makes a nice round opening in the pattern and I will definitely use this technique again.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Noticing stuff

The first thing you notice when you start this pattern is that the instructions are wrong. "Work these stitches as an I-cord" does not produce the beautiful band at the top of the socks in the photo. Fortunately, there is a paragraph explaining the "Band Pattern" in a different section of the pattern - but it would be nice if the instructions mentioned this pattern.

The second thing you notice is that the fancy-schmansy Louet Gems yarn has a tendency to split. Not a good thing when you'll be manipulating and twisting stitches like crazy in these socks. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Austrian Socks from Interweave's Favorite Socks, with apologies for the blurry picture:

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ute socks finished

What should I put on my feet on a hot, humid August day? Double-thickness socks, of course!

Pattern: Ute Socks by Nancy Bush, in Favorite Socks

Yarn: Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport, in ash, scarlet, beet red and plumberry

Needles: steel 0 DPNs

Comments: Oh, how I hate steel needles. But I doubt they make size 0 bamboos that would last more than a day in my hands.

I am extremely pleased with how these socks turned out. I played a bit with the heel / toe colors, removed one pattern band from the leg (it was coming out too long) and made the patterns on the two socks mirror images of each other (very easy to do with such small patterns). The plumberry is an Ok substitute for the original color grape, but a little too dark.

The yarn was quite cheap but good to work with, if not the softest yarn around. It came from WooBee KnitShop, and I was very pleased with their selection, speed of shipping and care in packaging the order. I highly recommend them.

Friday, August 3, 2007


The Ute socks are done. I should weave in the ends, though, and block them before attempting a picture. Coming up this weekend!