Monday, July 22, 2013

Socks #4 and #5 for me

I've decided I will be one of those knitters that always has a pair of socks on the needles. My current in-progress socks are the ones I'm making for my boyfriend that I mentioned last week, but before those, I finished two pairs for me in pretty quick succession.

These are from Kristi Geraci's Froot Loop pattern, and they are my new favorite socks. The pattern has the perfect amount of visual interest without being too fussy to make, or so elaborate that I feel like the socks are too special to wear. I also got the fit just about perfect on these, which is not an art I have fully mastered yet, so I'm very pleased. And, I think the yarn works very well in this pattern. It's the Space Cadet sparkly sock yarn that I bought at the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival earlier this year.

As usual, Juniper assisted with my photo shoot.

I also made a pair of Hermione's Everyday Socks for myself. The yarn store where I work recently started carrying Frolicking Feet from Done Roving, which is a 100% superwash merino sock yarn. So far I've only used sock yarn with a nylon component, so I'll see how these do. I couldn't resist trying out this yarn, though - the only issue was choosing between the many, many unique and vibrant (and crazy) colorways they offer. This one is called Cozy Cove and features my two favorite colors circa 1994.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I haven't been this frustrated, and delighted, by a project since I first started knitting. The pattern is Kleks, and it sat in my queue for a long time. I love lacey, light, mesh shawls, but I was a little frightened by the many comments about difficulties with the stitch counts in the pattern. Since I didn't think I really wanted a mathematical headache, I tried to persuade myself to start a different shawl, one with a similar look and stitch pattern but that maybe would be a little easier. But I wanted Kleks.

I knit it out of madelinetosh prairie in Silver Fox. The yarn, too, was one that I had several good alternatives to, but I had to have this yarn, in this color. Don't know why. But I love it.

Kleks is indeed a challenging pattern, because it's really more of a formula than a pattern. The actual stitches are fairly simple, but as many other Ravelers warned, the stitch counts in the increase sections don't necessarily come out evenly. I struggled with that, probably much more than I should have. But on the upside, my confidence in fixing mistakes in the midst of relatively complicated lacey bits increased enormously. It was like an RPG, where you make 250 identical iron daggers and your competence in all things smithing increases. I fixed the same type of mistake 250 times, and suddenly my knitting skill went up a level.

I wore this shawl to my friends' wedding back in May (the wedding that I made the Tree of Life pillow for). It was perfect for a late spring evening in the mountains, and I was so thrilled to finally have it finished, and looking just as pretty as I'd hoped.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Well hey, what is this? A blog post?! And a WIP Wednesday post, no less, for the first time since early April! As usual, I have no good excuse for my absence, so let's just skip that part.

I have four things on the needles, all of which are taking turns with each other, and therefore taking their time. Usually I only have one or two projects going, but a few weeks ago I had 6+ WIPs, which was strange and exhilarating! Now I'm back down to the more tedious projects - not to say I'm not enjoying them.

For the past month, I've been working on a pair of socks for my boyfriend - my first socks for someone other than me. Calling it "a pair" is optimistic at this point, because I'm only about halfway done with the first one. They are an experiment in many ways, plus they are for giant man feet, so they're going quite slowly. I'm using leftover GnomeAcres yarn in the Naruto colorway for the cuffs, heels, and toes, and black Cascade Heritage sock yarn for the rest. Three by three rib, nothing exciting until the heel, where I finally ventured beyond heel flaps and learned to make a short-row heel. I wasn't happy with how it was looking until I discovered the shadow wrap method, and now I'm past the heel and well into the foot. The rest should be easy!

I have also been working bit by bit on this little guy. The pattern is Joris by Annita Wilschut, and I have been wanting a Joris of my own since before I could knit. I'm so happy with how he's turning out in this yarn, which is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Child's Play. The pattern is not that difficult, but a little too complicated for tv-knitting, so I work on him when I'm in the mood to listen to a podcast or something.

There is also this shawl, Zilver by Lisa Mutch. It's currently my tv-knitting for whenever I'm tired of the Naruto socks. The pattern doesn't require too much attention, so it's a nice project for relaxing and just zoning out. The yarn I'm using is Miss Babs Yummy sock yarn, in the Swan Princess colorway, which I picked up at Loopy Yarns during my visit to Chicago a few months ago. This color... I don't know how I feel about it. I loved it in the skein and in the cake, but every time I see it now, it looks different to me. I'll think it's gorgeous, then two minutes later it looks kind of moldy to me. Probably the color variations will even out in the full-sized piece, and if I'm still ambivalent about it, it can be my only-wear-in-low-light shawl.

And finally, my Tempest Shawlette by Tabetha Hedrick, which I'm knitting in Malabrigo Sock, in the Azules colorway. It's grown a lot since this picture - I'm now on the 18th repeat of the tempest stitch pattern - but it's slow going. The pattern is a little too complicated to memorize, but not too hard, so by this point it's starting to get a bit boring. I'm also only working on this project a few days a week, because it's my at-work project, because - surprise! I work at my local yarn store now. I don't think I've mentioned that yet, but yes, I now have a part-time job sitting amongst huge quantities of wonderful yarn with other addicted knitters and crocheters and trying to keep myself from spending my entire paycheck before I even earn it.