Estranged
April 3, 2010

I have been supremely lazy on the blogging front lately. First, it was exaustion after finishing the quarter, then, I had a minor case of startitis and suddenly blogging about all of my projects seemed overwhelming, but I’m going to give it a shot:

First up, I had promised pictures of my finished olympic project. I spun some yak fiber into sock yarn and knit Betty Cable. The yarn turned out very well, but, honestly, the fabric that resulted from the needles I used was extremely thick. And, in the end, the socks fit me but only barely. So, this is a charity project, and once I figure out what charity takes garments in fibers other than wool, I will send them off. I mean, a homeless person could probably wear them around as shoes. Here they are all finished.

And, since I cast off just before the closing ceremonies, I am proud to say I deserved this lovely medal.

After that project was done I went a little insane on the needles. Let me see if I can do this in chronelogical order:

First I finished, finally, the socks I was test knitting for a friend, “Onward!,” and they turned out really well. It was my first pair of sport weight socks and they are so very plush and comfy. Unfortunanelly they are so plush that they don’t fit very well into my clogs which is the only pair of shoes that I wear hand knit socks in; oh well. Here they are:

By the way, these hairy legs are not mine if you’re wondering. Since realizing that my brother can fit into my socks, I’m now using him as a sock model for photographs. It’s hard to take pictures of your own feet! Second, was new pair of socks in pattern Hydrangea, with STR Lightweight in “Eggplanted.” I love them dearly. They fit me great and they are very handsome.

After that I believe I cast on a pair of plain vanilla socks in Fleece Artist’s Merino 2/6 in the colorway “Twilight.” I think they are the longest pair of socks I have knit so far, usually preferring to keep them moderately short if not for comfort than for necessity: I have man calves and I don’t like to do the math on unplanned increases. But these are just tall enough to be long but just short enough to not need increases so I’m pretty happy about them. Also, it was my first foray into the world of short-row heels and toes and let me say that I love the toe, but not the heel. I just don’t think that the short row heel is as comfortable as the heel flap and gusset heel (I don’t know what its name really is; “Slip stitch heel” perhaps?) Also, much less reinforced. This hasn’t been a problem for me yet, since I haven’t been wearing hand knit socks long enough for my heel to bust out of one, but it’s bound to happen someday. Here is a picture of my “Twilight” socks:

Next up was a gift from a friend. She had bought some Casbah sock yarn in colorway that had more tan in it than she was hoping for (I’m thinking maybe Orchid?), so she overdyed it with some cool-aid and gave it to me. It’s so very very soft and it’s going to make the most wonderful pair of socks. I’m doing the pattern Celebrate Spring, but since I don’t have the size needle that the pattern calls for I first tried to knit with one repeat less and a larger needle size. I totally didn’t work. It was just a bit too snug, so I went with the pattern as written and it will be roomy but not too bad. I do have thick ankles anyway. Here is the leg part, almost ready to begin the heel:

With all of this sock knitting and sock wearing, I finally peaked my younger brother’s interest and had him asking me if I could knit a pair for him. I had him dig around in my stash and he pulled up this lovely Fleece Artist yarn that I had got in a ravelry trade. It’s older so I’m not sure what type it is, but it feels like 2/6 and looks like a cross between the colorway “Chocolate” and the colorway “Earth.” He also chose the pattern Nutkin, which apparently is manly enough. My problem with him is that he has little skinny ankles and legs, but his heel is huge. So, in order for the sock not to pool around his ankle it has to be snug enough that he has a problem getting it over his heel. I think the sock is stretching out a little though and it should be fine.

Next up, I have been meaning to start a large lace shawl, so I took some Misti Alpaca Lace in the colorway Straw Melange and started knitting an Adamas Shawl. So far I really like it. The pattern isn’t too tricky, but, in my usual fashion I have already made a couple of mistakes. I don’t think they are noticeable. I’ve pinned it out a little so you can see the pattern:

And speaking of shawls, my mother and I went to a Stephen West workshop last week (more on that in a later post when I can get some pictures) and we purchased a few of his patterns. Here is the beginning of an Herbivore in some lovely Koigu KPPPM. The colorway is P722 I believe.

Yesterday in another fit of startitis I began a spinning project as well. There isn’t much to say about it yet. All I know is that it will be sock yarn, the roving is a hand painted Merino from Capistrano Fibers in the colorway “Crayola,” it was purchased at the Black Sheep festival in Eugene, OR, it is striped and I split it down lengthwise for long color repeats, and the roving has a complimentary mate not pictured here with which it will be plied. So far I’m super happy with the feel of the roving.

And last but certainly not least, the great ongoing project: the Sock Yarn Blanket. Here it is in all its wee glory:

Since I have to knit a pair of socks to get the scraps to make the blanket it’s a bit slow going. The blanket was designed by Shelly Kang and you can read all about its construction on her blog: “Heathen Housewife.” I have to give credit where it’s due. I certainly didn’t come up with it myself. I’m very gracious to her for coming up with an attractive way to use up scraps. If there’s anything I hate it’s yarn scraps.

Phew, that was a lot! Now I have to update Ravelry, joy. I think I’ll spend the rest of my day working on one of my wide array of projects and watch Twilight films, or Blackadder. I know those two are just about as different as they come, but that’s what I seem to be in the mood for today. And, I shall try to be better about regular blog updates, because if the statistics on my dashboard are at all correct, people occasionally read this blog. I would love to get a comment or two, just to know that they are real people, but I have to do my part as well.

Happy Easter!

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NaBloPoMo
December 1, 2009

Ok, I know this is really old, but I just found out about NaBloPoMo, or “National Blog Posting Month.” The premise is to post everyday for one whole month, and I think it’ll be a good way for me to pick up the blogging momentum, especially during the holiday season when there will be lots to talk about. Unfortunately, today is not one of those action packed days. I’m currently laying in bed, blog reading, and eating chocolate chip cookie dough (I hate to admit). Eventually I’ll get up, finish packing, and perhaps go to Saint Paul’s if I have enough energy. I was stared at in disbelief when I said I hadn’t been. But, you know, some people think that Agrippa’s first name was Mario (sorry Anto, but that one is going to give me joy for years to come). I am also mentally preparing myself for about 36 hours without proper sleep, at least 16-18 of which will be without knitting, heaven forbid. I hate you a little bit right now Italian customs.

Speaking of the knitting, I will probably cast on for the Adamas Shawl later today, with Misti Alpaca Lace in the colorway “Yellow Wheat Molinette,” which, I assure you, does not look at gross as it sounds.