Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Dear weather gods,

Please make it stop raining. Perhaps you're a bit confused, so let me fill you in: this is northern Texas, not Seattle. Sending rain here every day for a month makes the residents begin to act strangely. Besides, the low light is doing nothing for my photos.

Yarn: Regia Line Steps, color 5367
Pattern: I winged it
Needles: size 0 (2.00 mm) DPNs

The Professor asked for some "low socks," and these are what he got. It almost looks like I tried to match stripes with these, but I didn't. (Believe me, if I had tried to make them match, they would match.) Obviously I knit these in about half the time it normally takes me to make a pair of socks. The Professor thinks he's now entitled to twice as many socks, as long as they're short socks. While I'm thrilled he likes the handknits so much, I do need to readjust his expectations.

I also cast on my first big lace project. It's the ubiquitous Print O' The Wave stole from Eunny Jang.

The yarn is Fearless Fibers laceweight merino in the Notorious colorway. My friends, this yarn is so soft. I actually stop every couple of rows to pet the fabric (and maybe rub my face in it). The color variations are lovely, but they're subtle enough not to detract from the lace pattern. Perfection!

On a completely unrelated note, I'm pleased to report that I have finally made contact with Texas knitters. Real live ones! One of my coworkers is a serious knitter, and when we discovered our common obsession interest, she invited me to join a local knitting group. I'm so excited about this! The group is quite large and enthusiastic. It probably won't take long for me to abandon my natural shyness around them.

As if that weren't great enough, it turns out that there's a weekly lunchtime knitting group at my office. I nearly fainted when I found out. Going back to work has turned out to be good for my knitting after all.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Catching up

Wow, I haven't had the chance to blog all week. The Professor has a looming grant deadline, so I've had to put up with him having an umbilical connection to the computer. (We are temporarily a one computer household.)

I finished up two projects last weekend. The first one I've shown before, but it required blocking. Here is the Falling Water scarf in all its glory.

Pattern: Falling Water
Yarn: Knit Picks Shadow, "Lost Lake" (less than one skein)
Needles: size 2 (2.75 mm) DPNs (because that's what I had)

I love blocking wires! The edges of this scarf are so straight and lovely. Threading the wires through the edges is a bit tedious, but no more so than using 102,000 pins.

The pattern is beautiful and easy to memorize. It's a great first lace project for anyone. And I'm pleasantly surprised by the yarn. It's a fantastic value—good quality, great colors, and a low price. Score!

Although I normally make scarves too long, this one came out almost too short. (It's short because I couldn't stand to knit it any longer than I did.) I think I like it that way, though. Really, this scarf isn't meant to keep anyone warm. It's just long enough to drape over the shoulders. Fetchingly throwing one end over the shoulder works well too.

Next up are my finished Jaywalkers.

Pattern: Jaywalkers, by Grumperina
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, "Gold Hill"
Needles: size 1 (2.50 mm) DPNs

Since this is such a popular pattern, I'll admit I had high expectations. Maybe that's why I'm slightly disappointed. Don't get me wrong; I like the pattern. It just doesn't wow me. I'm not sure I would make these again, at least not for myself.

The yarn did wow me, though. I'm now officially a Shepherd Sock fan, although I think I'll end up using more of their "nearly solids" than their hand painted colorways. In fact, I've already bought enough for two more pairs of socks that are in the immediate sock queue. One pair will be for my Sockapalooza 4 sock pal, and the other will be for a pair my mom recently commissioned.

I have cast on a new pair of socks and a new lace project. Additionally, I've joined not one, but two knitting groups. I'll wait a day or two before going into any further detail, though. After all, I don't want to burn through all my knitting news in one post.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ode to Brown

'Tis the season for color, I know, but somehow my mind keeps turning toward brown. There's something so comforting about this most humble of colors.

Spindle Cat Studio merino sock yarn, Black Walnut colorway
acquired via a swap (thanks, Jodi!)

I contend that nobody does browns as well as Deb over at Fearless Fibers.

Fearless Fibers superwash merino sock yarn
L to R: Thoroughbred, Tiger's Eye, Autumn Reflections

See what I mean?

Fearless Fibers merino laceweight, Notorious colorway

I've always wanted my hair to be the color of this Alpaca Cloud laceweight from Knit Picks.

"Autumn Heather"

But this is my hair color in reality.

Note the brown eyes and brown spectacles. Do I know how to keep to a theme, or what?

Sunday, May 13, 2007


My first lace is finally finished. It became quite a slog toward the end.

Um, yeah, maybe I should block it. I suppose I can't quite call this one finished after all. Blocking wires are standing by.

My current project is really two firsts wrapped up into one.

The first "first" is the yarn. It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (Gold Hill colorway). This yarn has been marinating in the stash for over a year. Why has it taken me so long to knit with one of the most popular sock yarns available? I have no explanation. It certainly is lovely stuff, even if it did take some wrangling to keep the pooling to a minimum.

The second "first" is the pattern. Hello, my name is Micki, and I'm a sock knitter who has never made a pair of Jaywalkers. I feel like I can let go of the shame now. Ha!

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Look! I'm knitting a rumpled mess.

I know the magic of knitted lace normally only reveals itself in the blocking, but oh my, is this scarf ever homely right now. I'm thinking of it as the Ugly Duckling, because I know that one day soon it will be perfectly lovely. Here's how it looks after being beaten into submission a stout carpet blocking.

This is of course the Falling Water Scarf pattern from Bonnie over at Toward The Blue Peninsula. I've had this pattern filed away for quite a while, but I had forgotten about it while my head was so full of socks. When I saw a preview of Jodi's version, though, suddenly this pattern was back on my radar.

I wanted a simple pattern so I could practice knitting with laceweight, and this pattern fits the bill perfectly. The chart is a snap to memorize, particularly since I've done this pattern in sock form before. My only complaint? Scarves are boring to knit.

The yarn is Knit Picks Shadow merino laceweight. I love the heathery colors. Plus, it's great practice yarn because—I'm just going to be blunt—it's so cheap. Despite being such an economical yarn, the quality is actually pretty good. (I also have some Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud laceweight, which ranks quite a bit higher than Shadow on the yumminess scale. Ahem, I may have actually rubbed my face in it once or twice.)

I'm knitting this scarf on size 2 (2.75 mm) needles, which are a bit smaller than the needles usually recommended for lace. However, I just wasn't thrilled with the fabric I was getting with larger needles. This fabric seems just right—light and airy, but still substantial.

All of this practice is in preparation for a larger lace project. Details will be forthcoming.