Thursday, February 22, 2007

And then there were two

I finished the Winter's Eve socks on Saturday, and wore them on Sunday. They are beautiful socks! (They hadn't been washed yet -- I think the little holes in the toe shaping will close up after they're washed.)

That's our old Sam dog on the right; the black spot where he seems to be looking is Shortstop, our (female) black lab. On the left in the background is the machine shed with large round bales of hay for the cows.

Then I cast on for another pair called Central Air, also from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. This was an extra pattern in the Rockin' Sock Club August '06 shipment, in case the main pattern, Titania's Revenge, required too much thinking.

I am using Fleece Artist Rose from The Loopy Ewe, and these are for the Princess, aka our College Girl. Instead of a standard heel, I decided these needed eye-of-partridge.

In case you're not familiar with eye-of-partridge, it's similar to your standard sl1, k1 heel stitch, but each right side row is offset by one stitch. In other words:
Row 1: *Sl1, k1, repeat from * across row.
Row 2: Sl1, purl remaining stitches across row.
Row 3: Sl1, k2, *sl1, k1, repeat from * across row, ending with a k (last repeat will be sl1, k2).
row 4: repeat row 2

If you lose your place and don't know whether you're on row 1 or row 3, do the first sl1, k1 and then look at the next stitch. If the stitch below the next loop is recessed from the surface, you need to slip it, and you are on row 1. If the stitch is raised from the surface, you need to knit it, and you are on row 3.

Almost forgot: eye-of-partridge draws up more than a standard heel stitch. How much? In order to do this scientifically, I made a standard heel out of the same yarn -- 32 stitches wide, 32 rows of heel stitch. It took 40 rows of eye-of-partridge to get to the same length. So if you're going to use this heel, plan on 25% more rows.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

It seemed like the thing to do

So, I didn't go string beads for the second sock. I made a hat, instead. Voila:

The yarn is Noro Transitions, color #19. The pattern? Basically, measure your head, multiply by your gauge, cast on about an inch worth of stitches less than your head circumference, knit about 2", increase that inch worth of stitches, knit until the hat is tall enough (leave the edge rolled), then do the top decreases.

I frogged another hat, same pattern, same yarn, different color (#5):

It looks better in the skein than it does as a hat.

I wore my new hat this morning to drive my son to school. It was 12 degrees (F) out there.

Valentine flowers from my guys (that would be my husband and my son):

I did string the beads for the second Winter's Eve sock last night, and I cast on and knit the first several rounds of the sock this morning, then got distracted and started a scarf. Why? It just seemed like the thing to do.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Just in time to celebrate, here is the Winter's Eve sock, pattern by Sivia Harding, for the December 2006 Rockin' Sock Club. Yarn is STR (of course!) lightweight in Mustang Sally.

Try clicking to make it bigger. I can't seem to get a picture where the beads show.

Unfortunately, I am not wearing this today, as there is only one. Gotta go string the beads for the second one.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

New Project

Mmm, pretty...

But what could it be? Look carefully, there's a little surprise in the purl ribs.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Pink socks, anyone?

I decided I need some pink socks -- sort of a Valentine's Day inspiration. So I went stash diving, and this is what I found:

Clockwise from top left: KnitPicks Gloss, Burgundy; KnitPicks Sock Garden, Star Gazer Lily (discontinued); Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Get Knitted (this was a special colorway dyed for this seller, and I don't find it on their site right now); handpainted sock yarn from ebay seller kbrece; Fleece Artist (from the Loopy Ewe); Lang JaWoll color 82.0162 (from; Socks that Rock lightweight, Mustang Sally; Gypsy Girl Creations, Painted Desert.

Now I just have to pick a yarn and a pattern! One possibility is the Gansey sock pattern from the EZasPi Yahoo group, which is hosting a Gansey workshop by Liz Lovick. One of the more solid yarns would probably be my best choice. I have just completed my first project from the Gansey workshop, a swatch pin cushion in Peruvian Highland Silk.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Snowy Evergreen Socks

The yarn (merino/angora blend -- yum!) & pattern for these socks came from Susan's Spinning Bunny. She started a subscription sock club last fall, and I managed to snag the last full-year subscription. I don't even remember how I found her website, but when I saw these socks, I just had to join! I started them right after the kit arrived, but was in the middle of Christmas gift knitting, so I put them aside about 4 rows into the tip of the trees on the first sock leg. A few days ago, I picked the sock up and switched from 14" straight needles to a 24" circular, working back & forth. Much more comfortable! After I finished the first sock leg, I decided to do the 2nd, then put them on a long circular needle to work both of the feet at the same time.
Finishing involved several more yarn ends to weave than I usually have for socks, and the seam up the back of the leg. I did that with mattress stitch, 1/2 stitch in from the edge, giving me an invisible seam on the outside:

and what appears to be a single stitch column down the inside. Gotta love that. Mattress stitch isn't the easiest thing in the world to learn, but it's definitely a technique that is worthwhile to have in your arsenal.