Sunday, April 30, 2006

On the needles:

The mate of a Trekking XXL sock; turning the heel now
The short-sleeved sweater from Erika Knight's "Simple Knits for Little Cherubs." I started this yesterday, because I couldn't be bothered either to fix a mistake in Empire (gosh, that's going to be dreadful) or to continue turning that heel. I am knitting it in KnitPicks Shine Sport, color Crocus. Forgive no pix--I think your imagination can handle it. Go look at the yarn here:

Shine Sport

And the sweater. It is the lavender one, pictured twice in the top row.

It is knitting up at slightly larger than gauge, unfortunately, so though I cast on for the medium size I think I'd better follow the vertical measurements for the large size. I might have to order another ball of the yarn, because I'm only six inches into the back and the first is already wilting; I only have four. Bummer.

Put in an order with KnitPicks this morning. Four balls each of all three colors in the red/pink part of Palette, to make more of these little sweaters. Palette is supposed to be a true fingering-weight yarn, so I am hoping that it will knit to gauge and four will be enough. If not, I have to put my faith in the consistency of dyelot-to-dyelot in the modern world. I am thinking that I will knit the red into a sweater by itself, but I will tip the pinks with each other--just the cast-on and cast-off rows. I will almost certainly embroider a strawberry onto one of the sweaters. Here is the link to Palette, so you can see for yourself:


I am very much looking forward to finding darling little buttons, for the back neck closures. All in all, knitting for little children is the only thing I enjoy more than knitting for myself. It goes so fast.

I am knitting this sweater, I assume, for my own daughter--should I ever have one. Last night I had a big-time freak out about life in general and wondered if I shouldn't rip it all out, because what I'm knitting into this sweater (and feelings get caught up in knitting and in cooking, I do believe that) is uncertainty, rather than contentment. This morning though, with my head cleared out, I decided that knitting a sweater for a daughter now is not different from knitting one when I am married, because children are still not certain; not different from knitting one while pregnant, because one doesn't know that everything will go well; not even different from knitting one after the daughter is born, because who knows if she will refuse to wear it (what little girl in her right mind would refuse a pretty sweater knit in that pretty color, though...?) So, I am knitting on.

Here is a picture I forgot to post. The bunny hat I knit on commission:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

In response to comments, thank you! Positive reinforcement is a sweet, sweet thing.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Time for a great big knitting update, don't you think? I do.

First off, the big news: I have finished the Sockapaloooza socks! Woohoo! I didn't get into this week's update, but they are definitely done.

See? It's really a pair:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

An up-close of the stitch pattern:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Statistics: Two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, not nearly used up, possibly enough left for a pair of footies. Size US1 / 2.25mm needles. Pattern, Mermaid Socks from Cool Socks Warm Feet.

Thoughts about the pattern: The overall effect of this pattern is stunning, and it is shockingly simple to memorize and to knit; it's really next door to plain old stockinette, in terms of mindlessness. It does involve YOs, though, so the resulting sock is rather lacy and open, just something to keep in mind if you think wool socks shouldn't have holes. Also, as Jaywalker knitters discovered before me, diagonal knitting doesn't stretch very much. I made these socks 66 stitches around the leg and 60 stitches around the foot, and they are very snug on my foot and ankle. I have to be careful getting them on and off. I think they will be perfect for my sock pal's slightly smaller feet, but if I knit this pattern for myself, I will do 72 around the leg and 66 around the foot.

Thoughts about the yarn: This was my virgin experience with Lorna's Laces. It is different from other nylon-enforced sock yarn because the wool content is merino. This makes a smoother, silkier yarn without the prickly "crunch" I so love in other sock yarns. The smoothness is quite charming, though, as are the colorways (and oy, do I have a lot of them stashed), so I will definitely be happy to use Lorna's Laces again in the future, both for myself and for others.

And I have one more knitting update. I am nearing the armhole decreases on the back of Empire:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Isn't she a beaut? I just love this pattern. It has an awful lot of cabling in every single row, but one quickly understands the logic and rhythm behind it, and no longer has to watch the pattern very carefully. A quick check at the beginning of each row suffices. Also, I am Cabling Without A Cable Needle a la Wendy, which makes the whole process positively fast. I love this pattern. I feel so smart when I am knitting it. I am also madly in love with the seed stitch border, which is deliciously textured and cuddly and beautiful to boot; it reminds me of hobnail glassware, which I also love. I am having wistful ideas about knitting a blanket all in seed stitch... but then I come round and remember that knitting blankets can't possibly be fun.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Kool-Aid Experiment

With Spring come two of my atavistic urges.
1. Buy as many plants as possible (and kill them)
2. Dye stuff

Image hosting by Photobucket

Here is this year's crop of dyed stuff, so far. Two hanks of KnitPicks sock yarn. On the left, 1/4 Lemon-Lime, 1/4 Pink Lemonade, and 1/2 Cherry with one packet of Black Cherry for depth. On the right, 1/2 Cherry and 1/2 Tropical Punch, tied in the center to leave white spots.

I am really impressed by the depth of reds and greens. The pink lemonade, as you may be able to tell, produces rather a sickly shade of pink.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

I am closing the toe of the first sock:

Image hosting by Photobucket

My sock pal's feet are a little shorter than my own, so I am hoping against hope that this will work out. I did follow the instructions, and began 1.5" short of the total foot length. (bites nails)

There, by the way, is the last of my Pepto-Bismol Pink Pedicure, from NY.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

My sock yarn cabinet:

Image hosting by Photobucket

The top shelf is more "oddments" than sock yarn, really. But, there you go. I call this stash "adequate;" it has enough variety that I can always find what I'm hankering after, but it isn't a Sock Yarn Stash Of Epic Proportions like the one Wendy just sent out piecemeal. Oh, and Wendy? I forgot to include my blog address in the petition for the Sock Yarn Group Home. Ho-de-hum.

Empire is progressing nicely; I am working on it in favor of tackling the toe of the first Mermaid sock. I just loooooooove Empire's pattern. It makes so much sense, and doing so many cables so deftly makes me feel smart. I am of course cabling without a cable needle; not sure I could do the sweater otherwise. Also, I have made two mistakes: one in the seed stitch border, of all things, which necessitated ripping out six rows, and one in the cabling that I was able to drop down and fix. Pix tomorrow maybe?